Chemistry

How To Make Edible Water Bottles

May 9, 2014 | by Lisa Winter

Photo credit: Yuka Yoneda/Inhabitat

The United States uses about 50 billion plastic water bottles each year, which requires 17 million barrels of oil. Sadly, less than a quarter of that plastic will get recycled. If you don’t want to be stuck carrying around a water bottle when you’re done taking a drink, why not just make a container you can eat? 

Yuka Yoneda from Inhabitat gives a demonstration of how to do just that using a process called spherification, which creates a liquid with a soft membrane that you can eat. The process combines drinking water with sodium alginate, which comes from brown seaweed. After those two are combined, spoonfuls are put into a bath of calcium lactate, which is a salt that can be found in many items like baking powder, antacids, and cheese. Inside the bath, a gelatinous membrane begins to form, though the water stays liquid in the middle. The result is a refreshing drink of water that doesn’t require a separate vessel like a bottle or a cup.

Want to experiment with other liquids? There’s a recipe list here.

[Hat tip: Yuka Yoneda, Inhabitat]

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