CNET interviews Homaro Cantu [photo gallery]. Best known for his edible menu printed with a Canon inkjet, he's executive chef at Chicago's Moto and chairman of Cantu Designs where he's developing products that include multi-functional kitchen utensils and edible ads. Yes, edible ads.
You open up a magazine, there's a small plastic thing in there, and you rip it open. It looks like a cheeseburger, tastes like a cheeseburger, it's made from all organic ingredients. In some cases it doesn't contain the ingredients that we would associate with that picture. But the key thing you've got to remember with edible ads is it's got to be an allergen-free substrate. If it's not, then you go do a peanut ad, and there's real peanuts in there, then somebody's going to die.
Edible ads will fund the nutraceutical applications, which is where we take actual nutritional value, caloric value, amino acids and vitamins and all that good stuff. You put it on and now you have a piece of paper that has some sort of text on it...and you can eat it and digest it much quicker than sending someone a peanut butter bar in a starving country where people don't know what peanut butter bars are. They may not eat it or it may upset their digestive tract.
Novel and intriguing, but what about mouth feel and what about my still empty and growling stomach? I think it's going to take a lot more science before a piece of paper will make me feel as happy as an order of hot soup dumplings.
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