Edible Electronics

YOWZA! This food is electric!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Diagnosing digestive diseases requires invasive and NASTY procedures – colonoscopy anyone? No thanks! Edible electronics with tiny cameras could be a more comfortable way to examine our nethers. But how do we power them?

Enter Ivan Ilic and team from the Italian Institute of Technology.

They created a fully edible battery! It’s made from activated charcoal, seaweed, beeswax, and other nutrients commonly found in food! Nutrients like vitamin B-two, which is in dairy products, and quercetin found in kale. The battery was wrapped in edible gold foil, commonly used by pastry chefs. 

The battery’s voltage is low enough to be safely ingestible. But, it’s strong enough to power small devices for a short time! It’s even rechargeable!

Tiny cameras or sensors powered by edible batteries could help diagnose and treat diseases. They could also be used to monitor food quality!

Battery snacks, activate! Power me UP! WOWZA!


Ilic, I. K., Galli, V., Lamanna, L., Cataldi, P., Pasquale, L., Annese, V. F., Athanassiou, A., & Caironi, M. (2023). An Edible Rechargeable Battery. Advanced Materials, n/a(n/a), 2211400. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202211400