In today’s world where we are all trying to move towards everything organic, these researchers from IIT Kharagpur have taken it a step higher and created eco-friendly food packaging material using cucumber peels. It was only in October that another such innovation from IIT made the headlines when IIT Madras created an Eco-friendly biodegradable food wrapper. Let’s find the entire story behind IIT-Kharagpur invents eco-friendly food packaging material!
As cucumber is used in almost every Indian household, cucumber peels are available in plenty. So, if these can be recycled and used for packaging food items in an eco-friendly manner, replacing plastic then our environment is definitely going to change for the better.
Benefits of IIT-Kharagpur Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Material
We all know the kind of threat that plastic waste has become and how it’s disposal is polluting the environment in all manners possible. In such a scenario the only way out is replacing plastic products with more eco-friendly ones. And undoubtedly this innovation from IIT Kharagpur is one step towards this direction. The food packaging industry depends highly on plastic wrappers to store and preserve it’s content. But this biodegradable food packaging has come up as a better alternative. “While single-use plastic is consciously being avoided by consumers, they still remain largely in circulation as food packaging items. Natural biopolymers are unable to make their way in this industry as they lack strength, elongation, barrier property, optical property, and in some cases even biological safety,” said Jayeeta Mitra, Assistant Professor, IIT Kharagpur
The researchers have proven that cucumber peels have a higher ratio of cellulose which gives it a high tensile strength. Therefore, making cucumber peels the appropriate material for creating a packaging product which will not only be biodegradable but will also have low oxygen permeability. Jayeeta Mitra, while talking about the findings of the research said that “cellulose nanocrystals derived from cucumber peels possess modifiable properties due to the presence of abundant hydroxyl groups, which resulted in better biodegradability and biocompatibility. Nanocrystals, when reinforced as nano-fillers in bio-composites films, can produce effective food packaging materials with low oxygen permeabilities,” So, in a sense saving the environment while preserving your food products for a longer duration. If this isn’t an innovation what is.
Such innovations definitely have become the need of the hour. It’s our responsibility to be aware of such innovations which are happening around us and incorporate them into our lives. Because of these innovations are going to save our environment, we are the ones who will be saved.
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