Plate-eating good: University of Montreal professor designs edible tableware

Dec 08, 2009

Finishing your plate may soon take on a literal meaning. Diane Bisson, a professor at the Université de Montréal School of Industrial Design, has fashioned edible plates that are practical, stylish and tasty. She has completed the first phase of her research, which has resulted in a book highlighting more than 50 tested recipes and 400 tested prototypes: Edible, The Food as Material.

"The idea of using food to support a meal isn't new. The hollow loaf of bread or the curved leaf are fine examples," says Bisson. "Corn-based and potato-based comestible plates do exist, but they are designed to be biodegradable rather than eaten. They've had no market success because they look like cardboard and aren't appetizing in the least bit."

Bisson wants to change that. To do so, she enlisted the help chef Daniel Girard and dietician Véronique Perreault of the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec. She also worked with chefs from the bakery Premičre Moisson. "We began by exploring the technical, mechanical, chemical and colour properties of foods which provide both the challenges and the key to the eventual object," says Bisson.

Using preservatives or artificial colours was out of the question. Even sugar was eliminated as a potential base ingredient, since Bisson wants the product to be ethical and in tune with today's social and environmental conscience. She researched leguminous flours, fruit pastes and juices to create crunchy, chewy and gelatinous textures.

The trial and error phase led to satisfactory results. "We had to deconstruct foods and reinvent a culinary language, which was a challenge for the chefs," says Bisson, a process that's pictorially documented in Edible, The Food as Material. The book presents all materials used and tested and molded to provide a glimpse of the potential end product.

For the second phase of the project, Bisson plans to work with a gourmet caterer to design a five-course meal in which all the dishware and cutlery is edible. A third phase will focus on products that are more neutral and accessible to the general public.

Source: University of Montreal (news : web)

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Insomnia is bad for the heart

Sep 04, 2009

Can't sleep at night? A new study published in the journal Sleep has found that people who suffer from insomnia have heightened nighttime blood pressure, which can lead to cardiac problems. The investigation, which measur ...

Asthmatic children: Did mom use her pump during pregnancy?

Oct 05, 2009

Expectant mothers who eschew asthma treatment during pregnancy heighten the risk transmitting the condition to their offspring, according to one of the largest studies of its kind published in the European Respiratory Jo ...

Biotransformed blueberry juice fights fat and diabetes

Sep 01, 2009

Juice extracted from North American lowbush blueberries, biotransformed with bacteria from the skin of the fruit, holds great promise as an anti-obesity and anti-diabetic agent. The study, published in the International Jo ...

Noisy workplaces can make workers deaf

Mar 10, 2009

The majority of the 650,000 employees from Quebec's manufacturing sector - specifically those working in metallurgy and sawmilling - are exposed to noise levels that exceed governmental norms.

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...