Iconic Indian flower used to make biodegradable films

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In India, researchers have developed films from lotus stem starch, whey protein concentrate, and psyllium husk.

Unlike films made from starch alone, the films developed by Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology in Punjab are strong and exhibit low solubility.  The breakthrough was oxidization and cross-linking modifications to the lotus rhizome starch that improved physical, barrier, mechanical and form properties.

“These films are white and transparent and can be used to visualize the products that are packaged, hence promoting higher product acceptability by consumer,” Charanjit S. Riar tells The Better India. The films can be used in food coatings, encapsulations, probiotic coatings, drug delivery systems, and edible packaging materials.

The work was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.