IIT-Roorkee develops indigenous technology for ‘bio-based’ packaging material | Dehradun News – Times of India
ROORKEE: Polymer scientists at IIT-Roorkee have claimed to have developed an indigenous technology to develop “bio-based” packaging (colour) materials. They said with the use of their technology, making counterfeit packaging of any product would be highly difficult.
A peer-reviewed scientific journal — ACS Applied Nano Materials — has published their study in its recent issue. To fulfill their objective of a bio-based technology, researchers used bagasse (agro-waste sugarcane) and organic acids (OAs) like citric, malic and tartaric acids, etc, after extracting from orange, apple and tamarind.
“Till now, the provision of barcodes is being made available by the packaging industry of any product to stop the counterfeit practices. However, barcodes can also be counterfeited. But our technology is secured from counterfeit as our packaging sensors (colour materials) are transparent in nature and can only be detected after use of UV light. A market-available UV torchlight will be helpful in detecting the colour (as a code) on a strip pasted on the packaging wrappers,” said Pradip K Maji, principal investigator of the project.
The other researchers associated with the project were Chhavi Verma, Saurabh K Kardam, Monika Chhajed and Upendranath Nandi. According to Chhavi Verma, they obtained cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) films from bagasse and added layers of different OAs under many stages of laboratory process. By this they got flexible and transparent films that displayed good visual colour-sensing properties with moderate anti-bacterial activity for Escherichia coli bacteria. “This process is divided into stages of bleaching raw fibre and acid hydrolysis of cellulose pulp under standardized conditions. The final CNC suspension is then concentrated to make it behave as a liquid crystal material showing birefringence (splitting of light) properties,” she added.
The CNC of bagasse has an inherent quality of colours but that cannot be seen with a naked eye. Researchers obtained the desired colour via “modification techniques” of biopolymers after adding OAs in layer by layer assembly.