South Asian-Canadian project testing nano-film effects on shelf life
The story reported the nano-film emits a chemical vapor that can extend shelf life by up to 21 days, but its impacts will be better known at the end of a 30-month testing project that started in March.
TNAU has taken on the project in collaboration with the University of Guelph in Canada, Sri Lanka's Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) and south Indian NGO MYRADA.
The nanomaterials contain synthetic versions of agent Hexanal, which is found in beans and cucumbers, and targets the enzyme responsible for produce deterioration, phospholipase-D.
Hexanal was developed by the Canadian scientists, and the TNAU team will test how it can be impregnated into plant fiber. Sri Lankan scientists will test hexanal embedded in a natural wax, which could then be used for nano-film coating if successful.
TNAU professor K. S. Subramanian told the website the average Indian consumes just 80 grams (2.8oz) of fruit each day, mainly because of post harvest losses.
The story reported at least 40% of India's fruit harvested, or around US$71 million worth of produce, is lost due to a lack of cold storage and cold chain facilities.
Ahmedabad University Institute of Life Sciences director Alok Dhawan, told the website the environmental effects of hexanal would need to be tested, as it could potentially destroy some natural biodegrading bacteria.