Shapeshifting noodles can be shipped flat and then change shape with hot water

MIT researchers have created edible origami, in the form of flat sheets of gelatin and starch that, when submerged in water, instantly sprout into three-dimensional structures, including common pasta shapes such as macaroni and rotini.

The edible films can also be engineered to fold into the shape of a flower as well as other unconventional configurations. Playing with the films’ culinary potential, the researchers created flat discs that wrap around beads of caviar, similar to cannoli, as well as spaghetti that spontaneously divides into smaller noodles when dunked in hot broth.

They describe their shape-morphing creations as not only culinary performance art, but also a practical way to reduce food-shipping costs. For instance, the edible films could be stacked together and shipped to consumers, then morph into their final shape later, when immersed in water.

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