IIT Kharagpur Researchers Develop Environment-Friendly Food Packaging Materials

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Kolkata: Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-K) researchers have developed cellulose nano-crystals from cucumber peels with an aim to create environment-friendly food packaging materials in future.

Despite Environment-conscious consumers avoiding single-use plastic, such type of polymers are still in circulation as food packaging items.

According to a statement from IIT-K, Professor Jayeeta Mitra and research scholar N Sai Prasanna at the institute have addressed the challenge of finding cellulose nano-material developed from raw cucumber waste — an environment-friendly substitute to food packaging materials.

“Cucumbers generate about 12 per cent residual wastes after processing either the peels or whole slices as waste. We have used the cellulose extract from this processed material,” Assistant Professor of IIT Kharagpur at the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, Dr Mitra was quoted as saying via the statement.

“Our study shows that cellulose nanocrystals derived from cucumber peels possess modifiable properties, which resulted in better bio- degradability and bio-compatibility. These nanocellulose materials emerged as strong, renewable and economical material due to their unique properties,” she said.

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