Stick Out Your Tongue - It's Not Rude, Really
"Listerine PocketPaks® strips dissolve instantly, killing over 99% of bad breath germs* to immediately freshen your breath anytime, anywhere. Since you never know when you'll need fresh breath, make sure you're always prepared with Listerine PocketPaks®. This way, you'll always be certain you're putting your best foot forward." Image Credit: Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
No, really, it is going to be good for your health.
Edible film delivery systems for vitamins, electrolytes, even food tastes and preservation is a growing market. This stuff isn't just for breath and social interaction anymore, there are even strips for "Fido".
Excerpts from Business Week Magazine-
It's On The Tip Of Your Tongue
As more medicines take the form of "edible film," the market is exploding
Business Week Magazine - July 31, 2006
They're little green patches of film that melt instantly on your tongue, releasing bursts of minty breath freshener strong enough to wipe out all signs of that garlic shrimp you had for lunch. Sound familiar? They're Listerine PocketPaks, and they're made of a material that folks in the food industry call "edible film." Introduced by Pfizer Inc. in 2001, PocketPaks sparked a craze. Now everything from sushi to Sudafed is showing up on store shelves all wrapped up in melt-in-your-mouth film.
Consumers are lining up for the chance to stick out their tongues. Retail sales of edible film, at about $100 million a year today, are expected to hit at least $350 million by 2008, says James Rossman, a former maker of edible film who is now a consultant in Tampa. In 1999 sales were just $1 million, mostly from niche products such as the edible underwear that's a favorite gag gift at bachelor parties. "Listerine broke the market wide open," says Rossman -- who, by the way, in 1974 had a hand in inventing some of the first edible undies.
Over-the-counter drugmakers are breathing new life into tired brands by pressing them into flavored strips. In 2004, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NVS ) introduced Triaminic and Theraflu Thin Strips. This April it followed up with Gas-X Thin Strips, a new twist on a nearly 30-year-old brand.
Patients with four legs and fur may be the next target for drugs-on-film. Albert Ahn, a veterinarian and spokesman for Hartz Mountain Corp. in Secaucus, N.J., says his company is looking at edible film as an alternative to stuffing pills down pets' throats. "Dogs and cats are pill con artists," he says. "They hide them under their tongue or in their jaw and then spit them out when you're not looking." Strips stick -- and some drugs can also be given at lower doses on films because they are absorbed better through the tongue. Ahn estimates that pet pharmaceuticals represent a $1 billion market.
Some meat manufacturers are using films to cure and glaze ham. There are electrolyte strips that athletes can consume in lieu of sports drinks to fight dehydration. Film might someday be used as a moisture barrier, separating the tomato sauce from the crust on a frozen pizza, for example, so the crust stays crisp. "These films can improve the quality and shelf life of food," says Tara McHugh, research leader for an Albany (Calif.) unit of the Agriculture Dept.
And get this: Matthew de Bord, owner of Origami Foods in Pleasanton, Calif., has developed films made of carrot, and tomato with basil, which can be used in place of seaweed to wrap sushi. "Some people have an aversion to seaweed, or they just want an alternative," de Bord reasons. Costco Wholesale Co. is testing sushi wrapped in de Bord's films at some of its stores in California. Wonder how that might play in Tokyo.
And this from Ediblefilms.org -
In the race to provide superior edible film and coating technology options to the food industry, researchers in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California at Davis, led by Dr. John Krochta, are making significant advances in the use of whey proteins, a component of milk.
In the early 1990s, these researchers discovered the potential for whey proteins as a superior alternative to the already-existing protein and polysaccharide edible films and coatings, and as a method to additionally reduce the synthetic polymer films being used by food manufacturers. Since this discovery, research has focused on documenting the properties of whey protein film and coating formulations and developing concepts for the efficient production of stand-alone films and effective food coatings made from whey protein.
So, stick out your tongue ... it's good for you!