IIT Roorkee team invents edible ink from acacia

January 2, 2023 |

In India, researchers with IIT Roorkee’s Department of Paper Technology have developed an edible ink for a wide range of printing and packaging applications.

The plant-based alternative comes as India’s ban on single-use plastic items like plates and cups has caused more people to carry groceries or food items in bags made from newspapers. The transfer of newspaper ink—which can contain synthetic colorants, binders, and solvents—can, however, be a health hazard.

Made from catechu, an extract of acacia, the edible ink can be applied to other packaging alternatives, like jute or cotton. “The edible ink can be used for novelty baked goods such as photograph cakes, cupcakes, cookies, edible plates, cups, coating on fruits, printing on edible films, printing on eggs, printing on paper or paper-based products and an alternative [to stickers] on fruits and vegetables,” says codeveloper Dr. Kritiraj K. Gaikwad.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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