Tasty results

Noticing the garbage cans overflowing with plastic plates and half-eaten pieces of cake at her son's daycare, Université de Montréal anthropologist and industrial design professor Diane Bisson had the ingenious idea of reducing waste through the creation of edible plates, containers and cutlery.

Her research project goes far beyond the biodegradable cardboard plate: it is one of the first attempts to transform food into useful objects. Bisson adopted a research/creation approach using the science of transformation of materials, food science, design and gastronomy.

Around thirty samples were created from fruits, vegetables and legumes.

«About fifty basic recipes corresponding to the textural categories we were looking for were deconstructed and reconstructed in more than 400 kitchen trials, in order to achieve the technical functionality we were aiming for and to create new flavour combinations», explains Bisson. In collaboration with the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec, around thirty samples were created from fruits, vegetables and legumes.

These containers come in various shapes, attractive colours, and materials that are crunchy, soft or jelly-like, with unheard-of flavours. Throughout the course of the project, Bisson published a book Edible: Food as Material and held an exhibition in Montreal last December.

She will soon be presenting her first collection of edible containers and cutlery. Given the current craze for transformed food products, she also intends to develop a system for the teaching and practice of food design.