maj 10, 2022

The disposable of the future for takeaway should be made from food production side streams and must be able to be eaten or composted.

Together with food companies and manufacturers of packaging, the Danish Technological Institute has started to develop a new type of disposables that can either be eaten after use or composted as a replacement for products made of plastic, wood and cardboard.

The goal is that the new climate-friendly disposables, made from residues from food production, will replace 340 million pieces of disposable plastic, cardboard and wood tableware, which are used annually in Denmark alone, with great potential for distribution outside the country’s borders.

Initially, an edible spoon must be developed for ice cream and a cup for to-go coffee, which can go back to nature via either the consumer’s digestive system or the compost bin.

– We have intentionally chosen two complex examples of products: The spoon must be strong enough to be used on hard ice, while the cup must be able to withstand hot liquids for 90 minutes. If we succeed, we can transfer the technology and other side streams to other products, says Head of Section Eva-Marie Lange, Danish Technological Institute.


Made from residues

The products must be made from residues – so-called side streams – from food production such as coffee, fig sticks and bran from flour production.

The edible spoon, which must be produced by side streams from the production of fig sticks and bran, must accompany ice cream in cups. We will analyze how to develop a spoon with the proper tensile strength, ergonomics, and mouthfeel in the preparation.

The coffee cup should initially be a biodegradable cup with a lid, which must be coated with degradable biocoating. The cup must be made from coffee silverskin, which is the residue that springs from the whole coffee bean during coffee roasting.

-The coffee cup does not become edible in the first place because silverskin is not yet food approved. At the same time, the products in the project must be subjected to thorough consumer analyses, which must uncover, for example, whether there is a genuine desire from consumers for the coffee cup also to be edible, says Eva-Marie Lange.


The partner group consists of:

  • Danish Technological Institute: Contributes with ingredient, processing and packaging knowledge as well as consumer insights
  • LEAF Packaging, Værløse: Contributes with their groundbreaking advanced thermoforming technology
  • The Whole Company, Vadum: Contributes a technology as well as relevant side streams
  • Aurion, Hjørring: Contributes with relevant side streams
  • Peter Larsen Kaffe, Viborg: Contributes with relevant side streams and testing of the cup
  • Skarø Is, Svendborg: Contributes with insights into current solutions, requirements specifications and testing of the spoon
  • Naboskab, Copenhagen: Contributes to mapping consumer understanding

The project BEST – Sustainable Disposable Service of Side Streams for Take-away – is supported by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries’ green development and demonstration program GUDP. The project runs for two years.