IIT Roorkee develops printable edible ink for food safety

The water-based edible ink from plants developed by department of paper technology at IIT-R can be used in printing and packaging applications.

Kirtitaj K Gaikwad and Lokam Hakim at IIT Roorkee. (Picture: Press Release)Kirtitaj K Gaikwad and Lokam Hakim at IIT Roorkee. (Picture: Press Release)

Ishita Ranganath | December 26, 2022 | 02:33 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Researchers at the department of paper technology at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-R) have developed a water-based edible ink from plants for printing and packaging applications.

At the department of paper technology, researchers Kirtitaj K Gaikwad and Lokam Hakim have developed a substitute for synthetic ink, which is fully environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and suitable for different packaging and printing applications. The edible ink is manufactured from 100 percent plant-based material, 'catechu', without the use of any chemicals.

Also Read | IIT Roorkee organises Startup Expo 2022; 4 startups gets Best Startup award

The developed ink can be used for printing on fruits and vegetables as an alternative to stickers. This method of surface branding, printing on foods, will curb toxicity and unexpected health concerns. The solvents and chemical currently used in synthetic ink can lead to skin irritation and dermatitis upon skin contact.

"This is a novel idea of edible ink to print directly on food substrate; it not only uses plant materials but also alleviates the pressure on the environment and food safety," said Gaikwad.

In other news, IIT Roorkee has been working in multiple of areas of research. Recently, the institute developed high quality and low cost perovskite solar cells with highest reported stabilised power conversion efficiency at 17.05%.

The institute also won the 'most innovative research institute of the year' at CII Industrial Innovation Awards 2022 for the third consecutive year work in the field of energy storage devices, remediation and technology among other sectors.

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