A material designer from Germany is using food waste from chocolate factories to create a solid biomaterial. Paula Nerlich, who is now studying for a PhD at Newcastle University in the UK, has developed a product called COCOA, a material composed of 50% of the shells that initially protect the cocoa beans, mixed with other vegan, compostable and more environmentally friendly ingredients. She selected this ingredient, which represents several tons of surplus every year. Indeed, in the cocoa industry, only the bean is important and only parts of the surplus from chocolate production find further use. Many attempts were undertaken before being fully satisfied with the texture of her material and its physical form. Once this had been achieved a collaboration with Canada-based Punctuate Design to create a physical product from her new material. with whom KUSK was developed, a speculative container concept for the cosmetics industry.
More info in The Innovation Zone.