Dissolving pods mean no splashes when you add cream to your coffee

dissolving milk pods sucrose capsule
Adding milk or cream to your coffee in a hotel room or on the move could be about to get a bit more environmentally friendly, thanks to the work of researchers from Germany’s Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. As a replacement for the miniature milk containers that are often used, they’ve developed dissolving milk pods, ready to be dropped straight into your favorite hot beverage like a sugar cube.

The milk pods are essentially small containers with a hard and stable shell, which contains liquid milk or condensed milk. The shell is made of a crystalline material like sucrose or a sugar substitute. When the capsules are added to a hot liquid, the coat quickly dissolves and the liquid filling is released into the drink with a minimum of fuss — and, more importantly, no waste.

“Conventional pre-portioned plastic [containers] are applied in a variety of sectors for packaging coffee-cream or condensed milk because of their handy size,” Martha Wellner, one of the researchers on the project, told Digital Trends. “However, they have a great disadvantage as the opening process leads to an unclean handling. The first main advantage of our product is that it avoids the splashing and spilling as no opening is necessary. Furthermore it contributes to an environmental waste reduction as the dissolvable capsule replaces conventional plastic [packaging].”

At present, the hard shell leaves behind a sweet taste: perfect if you like sugar in your coffee, not so great if you don’t. However, the researchers may be able to tweak their creation in subsequent iterations to result in no additional flavoring.

The team’s milk pods can be kept at room temperature for up to three weeks, with no negative effects. “We have discovered no changes so far,” Wellner said, regarding the milk quality after the pod-making process. The researchers also say that additional drinks, such as fruit juice concentrate, may also be stored in the same way.

A paper describing this research was recently published in the journal Chemical Engineering & Technology. With this and the various smart expiration labels and new approaches to pasteurization we’ve covered as of late, who knew there was so much innovation going on in the milk world?

Product Review

Putting on the grits with the Instant Pot pressure cooker

If you want to dip your toe into the low-temperature waters of sous vide, the Anova precision cooker is a good way to start. It has a robust app and an easy-to-use interface that just may convert you to a whole new way of cooking.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Emerging Tech

This implant goes beyond pacemakers, helps aging hearts beat more vigorously

The FDA's advisory committee has voted to recommend an innovative pacemaker-style gadget be approved in the U.S. The Optimizer Smart Implantable Pulse Generator boosts performance, strength, and pumping ability of weakened heart chambers.
Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.