IIT Roorkee Researchers Develop Printable Edible Ink For Food Safety
IIT Roorkee has developed printable edible ink
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee researchers have developed a water-based edible ink from plants for printing and packaging applications. The edible ink developed at the Department of Paper Technology, IIT Roorkee is manufactured from 100 percent plant-based material -- catechu without using any chemicals. This ink, IIT Roorkee said, is a substitute for synthetic ink, which is fully environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and suitable for different packaging and printing applications.
The edible ink developed by Professor Kirtiraj K Gaikwad and his MTech student Lokam Hakim at the Department of Paper Technology at IIT Roorkee, addresses the challenge of finding an environmentally friendly substitute for food printing.
In the recycling of packages, IIT Roorkee added, synthetic ink is difficult to separate from printed packages, and the results can contribute to worsening environmental conditions. This is especially true in a country like India, where the consumption of packaging is estimated to be nearly 373.6 billion units in 2021.
The institute further said solvents and chemical components present in synthetic ink can lead to skin irritation and dermatitis upon skin contact.
“The developed ink is made from 100 percent plant-based material that is "catechu" (without using chemicals) and is considered a food and non-food substrate for printing,” IIT Roorkee said.
Surface branding refers to brand stickers placed on fruits and vegetables. These stickers also contain different additives with low toxicity, so any exposure from the occasional, unintentional consumption of a sticker would be expected to be a health concern. The developed ink is edible and can be used for printing on fruits and vegetables as an alternative to stickers.
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