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biopolymer

Biopolymer produced by sisal juice

Cellulose covering made from bacteria and sisal juice

EMBRAPACellulose covering made from bacteria and sisal juiceEMBRAPA

Sisal juice, discarded in the production of fiber, rope and twine used in agriculture and shipping, is being employed by researchers at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Food Agroindustry Division in Rio de Janeiro, and Tropical Agroindustry in Fortaleza, Ceará, to produce bacterial cellulose. Some strains of bacteria, like Acetobacter xylinum and Gluconacetobacter hansenii, found in rotting fruit, are able to produce cellulose when they are cultivated in the right environment. Because they are inert, biodegradable and highly absorbent of liquids, biopolymers can be used in the food, cosmetics, textile and dye industries and mainly in the biomedical area to promote skin growth in cases of burns or wounds. Research on sisal juice has led to the production of 4 grams of bacterial cellulose per liter, a result the researchers considered good. To scale up and transform this biopolymer into a commercially viable product, various factors such as temperature and most suitable nitrogen source for producing an ideal culture medium for the bacteria will have to be evaluated. The plastic film-like covering has already been tested for use as a food wrapper, mainly for curd and fresh cheeses.

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