Today, humanity has a lot of problems,from global warming to the coronavirus pandemic that raged in 2020. At the moment, thousands of scientists around the world are trying to solve them, but do not forget that we have millions more smaller problems. For example, every day stores throw away whole boxes of slightly spoiled fruits - even if they are slightly blackened, few people will buy them. At the same time, shops and farms throw hundreds of eggs every day, although they could be used to good use. Recently, American scientists came up with how to solve these two problems at once - they created a solution of eggs that can cover fruits and increase their shelf life.
How to increase the shelf life of fruits?
About the invention of researchers from the AmericanTexas State told New Atlas. A coating that increases fruit shelf life by 70% consists of egg yolks and proteins. The solution also includes cellulose fiber, curcumin and glycerin. By mixing all these ingredients together with 80-degree water, the researchers got a brown mixture in which you can dip fruit. As a result, they formed a thin protective film.
Cellulose fiber obtained from wood and consists of tiny particles up to 3 millimeters long. Being part of the mixture and covering the fruits, they prevent the evaporation of moisture and prevent them from wrinkling. Source curcumin is the root of the turmeric plant - this substance is necessary to destroy bacteria that appear on the surface. Glycerol, in turn, is a non-toxic, viscous liquid with a sweet taste - it gives the mixture elasticity.
Chicken eggs in a mixture are needed in order todilute all of these ingredients, as well as to repel water. In addition, it is a natural product, so it’s okay if particles of the coating get into the human body. However, the researchers claim that the solution applied to the fruit can be easily washed off under running tap water.
By creating a solution and cooling it to room temperaturetemperature, the researchers tested its effectiveness in the laboratory. They coated bananas, avocados, strawberries and papaya, and then left them outdoors. They also monitored the status of products that did not receive a protective coating. In the end, it turned out that the unprocessed fruit had already rotted on the eighth day of the experiment. And processed foods retained freshness even after a week of being outdoors.
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Increase shelf life to a greater extentpromoted cellulose fiber and curcumin. Thanks to the tiny fibers, the food lost moisture more slowly - on the fifth day of the experiment, only 35% of the moisture disappeared from the treated strawberries, while ordinary berries lost 60% of the moisture. Curcumin protected the products from bacteria - the researchers applied E. coli to them and after a day there was no trace of it.
According to the authors of the scientific work created by themthe mixture not only increases the shelf life of products, but also finds use in chicken eggs, which are usually thrown out by farms due to their large abundance. According to statistics, the USA produces 7 billion eggs annually, but 200 million of them end up in landfills. The new technology will allow humanity to begin to use at least one type of product.
It sounds very cool - scientists decided at oncetwo problems. But who will collect the eggs that are thrown into the landfill? If such a solution is in demand and will be used by suppliers of fresh fruits, there is a risk that far from written-off eggs will be used to create the mixture. However, it is possible that some company will organize the collection of excess chicken eggs and will buy them from farmers at a reduced cost.
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At the moment, researchers continue to scientificwork and are looking for chicken eggs an alternative to plant origin. After all, there are many vegans in the world who refuse to eat everything that animals produce - if the fruits are processed with chicken eggs, some people may refuse to eat them. In addition, many people are allergic to eggs and a protective coating for fruits can harm their body.