Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Can Eat "Don't Eat That"

Wait, what?

Well, it seems that Tufts researchers are developing (and patenting) edible optics, which are supposed to use the "natural optic traits of silk" to change colors.

The idea is that this adapted silkworm silk would detect and change colors in the presence of substances like the e-coli virus. That way, you'd have a visual indicator of whether or not your food was safe to eat, and you could eat the indicator itself without any adverse effects.

A lot of ideas are being kicked around as to the best way to use this, whether it should be in the food itself, sprinkled on the food before eating, or just used to make the bags the food is shipped in. Nothing has been finalized yet. According to the developers, it doesn't taste awful, but I'm not going to take their word for it.

It seems like researchers are paying a lot of attention to optics these days, though.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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