Is edible cement a tasty solution?

by Liv Croagh
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It sounds like something from the wonderful mind of Willy Wonka, but instead it’s a Japanese creation: edible cement.

Mix together cabbage, orange peels, onions, bananas and some pumpkin to create cement. It might not be on this month’s cover of Bon Appetit, but it could be the construction solution of the future. 

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a way to make cement from food waste. The material, developed by Yuya Sakai, has been engineered for concrete and recycling, but for those who might be a little peckish, the cement can be boiled down and made into ‘delicious’ meals by adjusting the flavours and adding seasonings.

The process was presented in 2021 at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society for Material Sciences. Since being presented, the material has been exposure tested, and it was indicated to not have attracted insects, worms or fungal attacks. 

To ensure greater durability, the cement can be waterproofed with chemicals or a lacquer quote, but word to the hungry: this will make it inedible. 

Professor Sakai is betting on this technology not only to mitigate global food waste – which according to the UN reaches 900 million tons per year – but also to generate temporary housing for refugees or in cases of natural disasters.

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