You’re doing your part for the environment each time you crack open the lid of your reusable water bottle. After the past few weeks of blog posts, you couldn’t help but feel inspired. Now, you’re using apps and maybe even bought a smart bottle so you can start sipping savvier.
You feel really good about yourself and your impact on the environment and thus the planet. Having eschewed disposable plastic bottles, you’re contributing less to the waste in landfills. Is there really any need to change what you’re doing when you’re already doing so well?
Yes, you read that right. It’s a bottle that can be consumed. Curious? Maybe a little scared? That’s understandable. Either way, you’re going to want to read on so you can learn more about this trend and whether it’s something you might want to try.
What Are Edible Water Bottles?
To understand the edible water bottle, you have to remove the preconceived notion of what a water bottle looks like. This is not a tall, shapely container with a lid meant to hold liquids. Instead, it’s small and sac-like. Skipping Rocks Lab, the company that is responsible for these edible water bottles, refers to each bottle as a “sachet.”
No matter which terminology grabs at you more, the edible water bottle as of today is tiny. It can certainly fit in the palm of an adult hand with plenty of room to spare.
Here’s a bit of history on the edible water bottle. The original is known as the Ooho. If you look at the Ooho website, you’ll see the edible water bottle design these days looks a little more like a container. The London-based duo who founded the Ooho, Pierre-Yves Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, were just design students still in college at the time. It was 2014, and they realized they were onto something with their edible bottle. They decided to form a company together known as Skipping Rocks Lab.
Like all burgeoning startups, Skipping Rocks Lab needed funding to test and further develop the Ooho. They received in it spades. Using Imperial College London’s equipment, the duo worked until they were happy with the finished product. Thus the Ooho we know and love was born.
Like any bottle, you don’t have to exclusively fill the Ooho with water. In fact, Skipping Rocks Lab says “you can put almost any liquid in an Ooho.” These include spirits, wine, beer, soft drinks, energy drinks, juices, and more. You name it and it can probably go in there. The company even encourages you to think outside the box. They say you can transport small cosmetics, condiments, and sauces in the Ooho as well.
Currently, Skipping Rocks Lab is teaming up with Virgin Sport, Just Eat, and Selfridges to spread their Oohos around the UK. In the future, they strive to increase the production times of these edible bottles. They want to make bottles on a 10-minute basis or even a five-minute basis if possible. The production would all be done automatically, giving the two creators time to work on new projects. This dream is still a work in progress, as the machine that can work such magic isn’t finished yet.
What Are They Made of?
Your interest may be piqued, but you have to know: what is the Ooho made of? Great question! It’s seaweed extract and chloride. That’s about it. Seaweed extract does indeed come from the long, stringy stuff you see in the ocean. Chloride, despite sounding like a chemical, is simply a salt compound.
If that doesn’t sound super appealing to you, we understand. You can try it once if you prefer, but if you don’t like the idea of eating a water bottle, there’s no need to stress. Skipping Rocks Lab says it takes six weeks for the Ooho to break down naturally. That’s a lot shorter than the hundreds if not thousands of years it can take disposable plastic water bottles to degrade!
You might want to try the Ooho at least once, though. According to Skipping Rocks Lab, they’ve designed the outer casing to be flavorless. You can even get the edible bottles in certain colors or with a specific flavor.
Okay…So How Does It Work?
How does Skipping Rocks Lab make these edible water bottles? It’s not a new process at all, actually. It’s one known as spherification.
Spherification has existed in the culinary world since the 1950s. In that world, chefs take calcium glucate lactate, sometimes also calcium chloride, and combine it with sodium alginate. The liquid combination becomes firm and spherical.
When it comes to making edible water bottles, the process is only a little different. As mentioned, chloride and seaweed are used as well.
Once you have the water bottle in your hand, you take off its outer layer. This is typically thick, so it takes a bit of work to remove it. Think of it like peeling an orange or another fruit. The process is akin to that. Then, once the outer layer is removed, you can punch a hole in the Ooho and sip. You can also just eat the entire thing at once, since it definitely fits in most mouths. It’s up to you, but it’s certainly a unique experience no matter which way you prefer to drink.
How to Make Your Own Edible Water Bottle
Ooho is the only product of its kind right now, and it’s not exactly widely available…yet. If this article has you curious and you want to try an edible water bottle ASAP, you can! It’s actually very, very easy to make one of these water sacs yourself.
If you poke around YouTube, you’ll see tons of tutorials and experience videos of people who have tried edible water bottles. You can now join the ranks with a little bit of DIY handiness.
Here are the supplies and the steps you should follow to make your own edible water bottles
- Calcium lactate (five grams)
- Sodium alginate (one gram)
- A bowl
- Water (four cups worth)
- Potable water (one cup)
- Hand mixer
- Curved spoon
Step #1: Take your potable water and pour it into a cup. Then, add the sodium alginate.
Step #2: Plug in your hand mixer. Blend the ingredients until they have dissolved into one another.
Step #3: Let the two ingredients sit in the cup. Wait 15 minutes.
Step #4: After the 15 minutes is up, fill your bowl with more water, four cups this time. Now toss in your calcium lactate.
Step #5: Once again, using your hand mixer, combine the ingredients until both are dissolved.
Step #6: Next, take the sodium alginate mix and put it into the calcium lactate cup. You don’t want to pour the whole sodium alginate mix in there at this point, only a bit at a time.
Step #7: Continue pouring incrementally until all the sodium alginate mix is in the cup with the calcium lactate.
Step #8: Once the two mixes are combined, you’ll have to blend them. Stir them together until approximately three minutes has passed.
Step #9: With the three minutes up, your two mixtures should now have firmed up to make an edible water bottle. Retrieve the bottle using your curved spoon.
Step #10: Transport your edible water bottle to the water bowl you’d set aside. You’re all done!
Here’s a video tutorial you can review for reference. As you can see in the video, you don’t need a ton of complicated science equipment to make your edible water bottle dreams a reality. It’s simple, fast, and fun.
While there are detractors of the Ooho and edible water bottles in general, we think the very existence of these bottles is going to be great for the environment in the years to come.
Are Edible Water Bottles Worth It?
Edible water bottles are as of now a little-known trend, but that’s going to change soon, we suspect. After all, at last year’s Harrow Half Marathon in the UK, athlete Lucy Ashe was spotted sipping one. She even said that “it’s the perfect amount of water that you need to take in a race.”
They’re popular on YouTube as well, as mentioned. While Skipping Rocks Lab has yet to release Ooho on a worldwide basis, and certainly not outside of the UK, since you can make your own edible water bottle, that’s okay.
Are edible water bottles like the Ooho really catching on, though? That depends on who you ask. Tech review and opinion site BGR wrote a pretty scathing review of the Ooho, calling it “pointless” in the headline.
Admittedly, BGR does make some valid points. As of this writing, the Ooho comes in a single serving size only. While the edible water bottle will likely do well at outdoor events, marathons, festivals, and concerts, what about outside of that?
You know by now that you’re supposed to be drinking eight glasses of water a day. How many Oohos would that take to get the daily recommended equivalent? Probably dozens.
Also, if you’re particularly thirsty, an Ooho might not satisfy. Just because Lucy Ashe says it’s the right amount of hydration when running doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same. Unless you have several Oohos on your person, then you might find that sipping just one leaves you feeling thirsty still.
That’s not to knock the amazing accomplishment Skipping Rocks Lab has achieved with the Ooho. It truly is a modern marvel, as it’s completely biodegradable and, better yet, edible. Today, many companies are brainstorming ways to contribute less to disposable plastic bottle waste in landfills. In the end, we all win for their efforts, be those big or small, like the Ooho.
The science that is edible water bottles is still in its infancy. Skipping Rocks Lab mentions that it’s working on a machine that will produce more Oohos per hour. For some, having several of the little water sacs might be enough to satisfy their hydration requirements, at least for a little while.
Below is a video you can review for reference. How this edible water bottle made compare to plastic bottle.
Even if that’s not the case, what’s stopping the company from developing a machine that can supersize the currently tiny Ooho? If we could have an Ooho that was the size of a standard disposable plastic water bottle, then we think the edible water bottle trend would really kick off. This way, no one could complain that the Ooho or related product wasn’t adequately hydrating them. It also wouldn’t be labeled as pointless.
With the variety of colors and flavors that are already available, everyone could customize their drinking experiences to their own personal tastes. That might make even reluctant water drinkers finally hop on the bandwagon. Also, fewer people would be using disposable plastic water bottles, which is great for the environment.
Overall, we think that those who are skeptical about edible water bottles should take a wait-and-see approach. The Ooho has only been around for a few years and has already made huge strides. Who knows what the future can bring?
Edible water bottles, or tiny sacs containing liquid, are making a big impact. Ooho from Skipping Rocks Lab is currently the only product on the market of its kind. The sac, which is made from a combination of a salt compound and seaweed extract, is a single-serving “bottle.” Oohos can be customized by color and/or flavor.
You can even make your own edible water bottles using a process called spherification. You don’t need a lot of ingredients or any fancy science equipment to do it. It’s a family-fun activity that’s hydrating and satisfying.