Skipping Rocks Lab is a seaweed-tech start-up based in London. That has created “Ooho!” the edible water. It’s a spherical packaging made of seaweed, entirely natural and biodegradable. Obviously their goal is to create a waste-free alternative to plastic bottles and cups. The proprietary material is actually cheaper than plastic and can encapsulate any beverage including water, soft drinks, spirits and cosmetics. The consumption of non-renewable resources for single use bottles and the amount of waste generated is profoundly unsustainable. The aim of Ooho is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact.
From the designer’s own words:
Curiosity leads us to appreciate the most simple and beautiful form that nature offers us, a drop. It is the smallest quantity of liquid heavy enough to fall in a spherical mass. Liquid form drops because the liquid exhibits surface tension bounded completely or almost completely by free surfaces. “Ooho!” replicates this behavior; encircle the water in a eatable membrane of algae. It is new way of packaging that propose an alternative to the plastic bottle. Using the culinary technique of sphereification, the water is encapsulated in a double gelatinous membrane. The technique consist into apply sodium alginate (E-401) from the brown algae and calcium chloride (E-509) in a concrete proportions in order to generate a gelification on the exterior of the liquid. The final package is simple, cheap (2ct/unit), resistant, hygienic, biodegradable and even eatable. The clearest inspiration is the way nature encapsulates liquid using membranes. Made of lipids and proteins the membrane encloses, limit and give a shape keeping balance between the interior and the exterior. For example, the egg yolk as a structural element membrane works almost exclusively with traction forces. “Ooho!” applies an evolved version of the sphereification to one of the most basic and essential elements for life,
After testing the sphereification technique with different ingredients, proportions and dimensions, a “recipe” was found to create “Ooho!” with a
double gelatinous membrane and in different sizes. The double membrane protects hygienically the inside and allows locating between the two layers
identification labels without any adhesive. Other technical innovations is to manipulate the water as solid (ice) during the encapsulation so it’s possible to get bigger spheres and allows the calcium and algae to stay exclusively in the membrane. The exploration of how other disciplines can solve design problems generates interesting topics as “how to design in the kitchen” or “how to cook the design”. Nowadays only big companies have the
infrastructure to manufacture packaging.
The main idea of “Ooho!” is that everyone could make them at their kitchen, modify and innovate the “recipe”. From DIY (Do it yourself) to CIY (Cook it yourself). This invention is futuristic and realistic and therefore has earned our vote for WHAT IS 2 COME!