DFRL develops edible cutlery for forces

DFRL develops edible cutlery for forces

The Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), set up in Mysuru under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has developed cutlery that can be consumed after use.

Edible bowls, spoons and forks will replace plastic and steel cutlery as an environment-friendly option for the Indian Armed Forces.

Since the patent application for these indigenously developed cutlery is being processed, Pandit Srihari S, technical officer of DFRL, said that he could not reveal the material used in their making. “When you eat an ice cream, you eat the cone, too. We produced this cutlery with the same thought-process,” Srihari said.

The work on the project began a year ago. Scientists at the lab tried out different materials, testing how long they could maintain form before the bowls and spoons got soaked and crumpled. The material used to make the cutlery has negligible amount of calories, Srihari said.

They have also tried to make the cutlery as light as possible to reduce the burden on soldiers, who will be the end-users. “Since we are a defence organisation, we develop products for use by the Army. But, as with all our other products, we will transfer this technology to any private players who may be interested. That way, civilians will also be able to benefit from our eco-friendly cutlery,” Srihari said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other officials were served food in the edible cutlery and they appreciated the product, he said. Once they receive the go ahead, they will produce the cutlery on a larger scale and provide it to the armed forces.

Set up in 1961,  DFRL conducts research to produce lightweight and nutritious rations for Army, Navy, Air Force and Paramilitary forces. Technology for many of their products such as instant idlis, upma, ready-to-eat dal fry, paneer curry and so on have been transferred to the private sector.

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