IIT KGP researchers develop cellulose nanocrystals from cucumber peels | Fusion - WeRIndia

IIT KGP researchers develop cellulose nanocrystals from cucumber peels

IIT KGP researchers develop cellulose nanocrystals from cucumber peels

Plastic is one of the main threats to the environment. Especially single-use plastics pose a huge threat. In this context, many people are opting for plastic alternatives, while scientists and researchers are trying to develop alternative material.

Recently, researchers at IIT Kharagpur developed cellulose nano-crystals from cucumber peels. They anticipate this material would be an eco-friendly alternative to food packaging material in future.

Jayeeta Mitra, Assistant Professor at IIT Kharagpur said that though people are opting for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic, especially in the food packaging industry, natural alternatives are limited. There are many reasons for it.

That’s why their team developed cellulose nano-crystals from cucumber peels.


Cucumbers are widely used in the country in salads, pickles etc. Besides, they are consumed raw. Cucumbers are also used in the beverage industry. As a result, their peels contribute majorly to biowaste.

She said that cucumbers generate around 12 per cent residual waste by way of peels and slices. Besides, their peels are rich in cellulose. They have cellulose content up to 18.22 per cent higher than other peel wastes.

Hence, they chose cucumber peels for their research and developed cellulose extract from the processed material. Since it is a natural and non-toxic product, it does not show adverse effects on health.

The material developed by them has modifiable properties, which helps in better bio-compatibility and bio- degradability.

Furthermore, these nanocellulose materials are strong and lightweight. They have excellent unique properties and mechanical properties. That’s why they are ideal to be used as an alternative material in food packaging industry soon.

The study of researchers provided a positive insight. They are hopeful in using this material in various fields like bio-composites, hydrogels making, paper making, coating additives etc.

Image from Pxfuel (Free for commercial use / CC0 Public Domain)


Image Reference: https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-xgqlq

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.