Container rethink: Ooho team cooks up water holder

Mar 30, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) —Think about it. A Sunday in the park. Trashbins overflow with plastic water bottles cast off by joggers, power walkers and their cheering supporters. They have gone home after a charitable athletic event to raise money for—you guessed it—the environment. Are we going nowhere very fast? A water container called the Ooho is a potential option; it is biodegradable and edible. The Ooho was created by three designers and has been named one of 12 winners of the Lexus Design Award 2014. This is an international design competition, where 1,157 submissions were received during the application period and from that group, 12 winners were selected after consideration by six judges. One may describe this entry as a water ball or more specifically as membrane packaging for liquids. Rodrigo García Gonzalez, Pierre Pasalier, and Guillaume Couche are the designers. After all, are plastic bottles the choice containers for water? The designers came up with a holder for water in the form of a double membrane. The process they used is known as "spherification," a technique used in culinary circles for shaping liquids into sphheres resulting in artistic presentations of food that look like magical jewels.

The technique dates back to lab work in the 1940s. In more recent times. Spanish chef Ferràn Adria brought the technique to highly creative modern cuisine at his restaurant elBulli. The Ooho ingredients are water, calcium chloride and . The Ooho team applied the concept not to elegant caviar or pea soup renderings but to water. Their project involved their experimenting with different portions and dimension of their brown algae, calcium chloride and water ingredients and they developed a suitable double gelatinous membrane. An estimated cost to make this ball is not exactly prohibitive—two cents a unit. The double membrane protects the inside hygienically, one of the designers said in Fast Company.

A report on the team's efforts in designboom, the digital architecture and design magazine, said the inspiration for their entry came from nature's way of encapsulating liquid using membranes, as in the egg yolk. The Ooho team succeeded in creating their edible membrane as an alternative to the plastic . To achieve their double gelatinous membrane they used sodium alginate from the brown algae and in proportions that could generate gelification.

While companies have the infrastructure to manufacture packaging, according to the report in designboom, the main idea of Ooho "is that everyone could make them at their kitchen, modifying and innovating the 'recipe.' From DIY to CIY (Cook It Yourself)."


Explore further: Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface

More information: www.designboom.com/project/ooho/

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User comments : 10

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Huns
not rated yet Mar 30, 2014
I can't wait to bite into that membrane after I've had my dirty, sweaty hands all over it, and have it slosh water down the front of my shirt.
dustywells
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2014
How about ice cube sized capsules carried in a Ziplock?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2014
I can't wait to bite into that membrane after I've had my dirty, sweaty hands all over it, and have it slosh water down the front of my shirt.

It means that the container is biodegradeable. Not landfill. It doesn't mean that just because it's edible you have to eat it.
Eikka
not rated yet Mar 31, 2014
It means that the container is biodegradeable. Not landfill. It doesn't mean that just because it's edible you have to eat it.


Then why can't they just make a regular bottle out of it? Why does it have to be a jiggly sack of jelly that spills water everywhere?
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Mar 31, 2014
There's plenty of fluids being sold in non-rigid containers (wine, milk, juice, ... ). Combined with a rigid/reusable container at home for serving they work well.

Then why can't they just make a regular bottle out of it?

Because then it wouldn't be as cheap (or probably as biodegradeable, as stiffness also implies a certain amount ofd rigidity in the cells - which in turn means they are harder to break down.)
eric_in_chicago
not rated yet Apr 01, 2014
there could be an additional layer that would be biodegradable that one peels off...

that would solvves the dirty hands probl...HEY! just wash your hands before you touch my food you neanderthal!
StarGazer2011
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
yeah, this is really going to happen.
dedereu
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
Eating calcium chloride of sea is not very safe, like drinking sea water !!
A small quantity yes, but not often.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
Because then it wouldn't be as cheap


Better slightly more expensive than absolutely useless.

There's plenty of fluids being sold in non-rigid containers (wine, milk, juice, ... ).


Take a thin plastic bag, fill it with water and tie a knot in it. Then throw it in your shopping bag, or backpack, or coat pocket, see if it doesn't spring a leak eventually. To make it practical they need to add some reinforcement against bumps and chafing or squeezing, which means they'll probably just end up re-inventing the milk carton or the wine box.

The old milk bags they used to sell were made out of extremely tough vinyl-like plastic, and still they tended to leak, and spill because pouring liquid out of a floppy bag usually went everywhere.
rockwolf1000
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
"The old milk bags they used to sell were made out of extremely tough vinyl-like plastic, and still they tended to leak, and spill because pouring liquid out of a floppy bag usually went everywhere."

Been getting milk in a bag for nearly 40 years. Never once had a leak. My parents used to freeze the milk bags when milk was on sale. No leaks ever. They sell containers for the milk bags which makes it possible for even small children to pour without milk going everywhere. Not really sure why you're having such issues. Do you kick the bags home?

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