MIT has developed a new flat-pack pasta

08.06.2017 Food : Technology : Sustainability
Transformative Appetite by Tangible Media Group at MIT, Massachusetts

Massachusetts – The product has been designed to reduce the cost of shipping food.

The pasta, which has been developed by MIT’s Tangible Media Group, is delivered in the form of flat sheets that open up into 3D shapes when water is added.

As well as the standard pasta shapes, the edible sheets can be engineered to fold into more complex shapes, such as flowers. By packing the pasta flat, shipping methods could become more practical and costs could be greatly reduced.

‘We did some simple calculations, such as for macaroni pasta, and even if you pack it perfectly, you still will end up with 67% of the volume as air,’ says Wen Wang, a co-author of the paper. ‘We thought maybe in the future our shape-changing food could be packed flat and save space.’

The concept works by 3D-printing a strip of edible cellulose over a gelatin layer on top. The strip, which naturally absorbs little water, can be printed in various shapes to control how the overall structure is shaped in water.

The Big Picture

  • By looking at the potential of future foods, innovators are creating solutions in packaging and sustainability
  • See how the KitchenLab exhibition also explored how food innovation can work to create sustainable products and services in our Briefing report
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