In a revolutionary discovery, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati have developed an edible and biodegradable coating to extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables.
According to officials, this coating material, which will prevent wastage, was tested on vegetables such as potato, tomato, green chilli, strawberries, Khasi Mandarin variety of orange, apples, pineapples and Kiwi and was found to keep these vegetables fresh for nearly two months.
The results of the research have been published in noted journals including the Royal Society of Chemistry Advances, Food Packaging and shelf life and American Chemical Society’s Food Science and Technology.
The researchers believe that their development could help the country meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3 which is aimed at reducing food losses along the production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
The team used a mix of micro-algae extract and polysaccharides to produce protective, edible films for coating vegetables and fruits. The marine microalgae called Dunaliella tertiolecta is known for its antioxidant properties and has various bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, proteins, and polysaccharides.