You may soon see mushrooms package with your favorite computer gadgets. Do it mean computer companies are including free mushrooms as freebies? Eating mushrooms while enjoying the favorite equipment. Definitely not but you can really see it soon enough. They are mushrooms in form of packaging materials. Another biodegradable innovation.
The mushroom foam packaging is being used by Dell to package their computers and components. Who knows, it might replace the existing Styrofoam boxes. Possibilities are endless. Biodegradable and eco-friendly package was created by Ecovative Design.
Basic steps in making shroom packaging are as follows:
1) Mycelium, a thready fungal network, is grown on agricultural wastes such as buckwheat husk and cotton burrs. They might also grow on other agricultural by-products such as mango peels, coconut husks and tree branches.
2) The growth are contained in a mold – various shapes. Mycelium will take the form of the specific mold.
3) Then taken out of the mold and exposed to heat as finishing touch. The finish product is strong enough as packaging.
The process uses very less energy. Packaging are made by mushrooms in molds with human intervention. Light is not even needed during molding process cause mushrooms never needed sunlight to grow.
Way back year 2008, Dell started to use bamboo packaging for their laptops and other small components. Mushroom foam packaging is another move in helping the mother earth.
Some mushroom varieties are edible. I wonder if they can develop an edible mushroom cup / packaging. In that way, package never need a disposal. E.g. order a cup of soup in a restaurant. Eat the soup and eat the edible cup, the idea of dirty ice cream cone.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.