Edible cutlery with added flavor

Edible cutlery with added flavor

Eat the silverware instead of throwing it away: This idea is being pursued by the start-up Frenvi, which wants to offer an alternative to disposable plastic cutlery with its edible spoons.

Die Ecobites schmecken nach Kakao oder Curry - und sind eine nachhaltige Alternative zum Einwegbesteck.
The Ecobites taste of cocoa or curry - and are a sustainable alternative to disposable cutlery.

Disposable plastic products are to disappear from the European market from 2021. This was decided by the EU Parliament in November 2018. Since then, more research has been conducted into alternatives to disposable plastic articles such as drinking straws or cutlery that are affected by the ban. Two master's graduates of the SRH University of Applied Sciences in Heidelberg have a tasty solution to the problem: they are developing edible spoons.

Edible spoons for a waste-free world

"We want to support the European market in its first steps towards a completely waste-free world," say Indian-born inventors Abhinav Ramachandran and Phanindra Gopala Krishna. The Heidelberg graduates came up with the idea during a so-called entrepreneurship module, which was designed to promote the entrepreneurial spirit of graduates in the International Business and Engineering course. Here they learned that disposable tableware is among the top polluters of the environment, Abhinav reports: " Disposable cutlery only has value until the person has finished their meal. After that, it has no value."

Spoon with vegetable flavor

In their search for plant-based ingredients and natural flavors, the duo was inspired by Indian, American and German cuisine in equal measure. Aromas such as spicy mint, barbecue, curried sausage, cookies or cocoa are intended to enhance the dining experience. The organic spoons can also be disposed of without any problems, as they compost within 25 to 30 days. With the edible spoons, their developers want to achieve one goal above all others: to create a sustainable alternative to disposable cutlery and thus make the environment a bit cleaner.

Friendly environment - or Frenvi for short - is thus the name and the program of the start-up company that the two graduates have founded. The spoons called Ecobites are still made by hand. An automated solution is already being worked on. In the development and implementation of Ecobites, the young company is supported by the Gründer-Institut of the SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg and the EXIST start-up program of the Federal Ministry of Economics.