Making Copper Particles from Pineapple Peel to Kill Bacteria

Greg Howard
28th March, 2024

Making Copper Particles from Pineapple Peel to Kill Bacteria

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers in North Bengal used pineapple waste to create antibacterial copper nanoparticles
  • These nanoparticles can potentially extend the shelf life of food by preventing bacterial growth
  • The process is eco-friendly, avoiding harmful chemicals and reducing fruit industry waste
In a world where waste reduction and environmental sustainability are increasingly pressing concerns, a team of researchers from the University of North Bengal has made a significant breakthrough[1]. They have developed a method to transform everyday fruit waste into a valuable resource in the fight against bacterial contamination in food preservation. This discovery not only offers a solution to the problem of waste but also presents a potential leap forward in the realm of green nanotechnology. The study focuses on the synthesis of copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) using extracts from pineapple peels, a common byproduct in the fruit industry. Copper nanoparticles have been known for their antibacterial properties, which could be harnessed to extend the shelf life of perishable goods. The researchers' method is an eco-friendly alternative to conventional nanoparticle production, which often involves hazardous chemicals and high energy consumption. To understand the significance of this study, it's essential to grasp what nanoparticles are. Nanoparticles are tiny particles that measure in nanometers (one billionth of a meter). Their minuscule size gives them unique properties, making them useful in various applications, including medicine[2] and pharmacology[3]. For instance, in medicine, nanotechnology has led to the development of targeted drug delivery systems that can direct medications directly to diseased cells, minimizing side effects[2][3]. In the study at hand, the researchers used a green synthesis approach. They mixed pineapple peel extract with copper sulfate pentahydrate to produce CuNPs. The process was monitored using UV-Visible spectroscopy, a technique that detects the particles' formation by observing how they absorb and scatter light. The CuNPs were then analyzed using several methods: Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy identified the organic compounds from the pineapple peels that acted as stabilizing agents; particle size analysis measured the nanoparticles' dimensions; scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provided detailed images of their spherical shape; and X-ray diffraction (XRD) offered insights into the crystalline structure of the synthesized CuNPs. The resulting CuNPs had a mean size of 290.5 nm and showed a negative zeta potential, which indicates instability in the colloidal state. However, the presence of phytochemicals from the pineapple peels, confirmed by the FTIR study, suggested that these organic compounds played a role in stabilizing and capping the nanoparticles, a finding that aligns with the eco-friendly synthesis of nanoparticles using biological materials, such as plant extracts[4]. The study also evaluated the antioxidant properties of the CuNPs through two assays: the DPPH scavenging and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. The results indicated that these nanoparticles possess significant antioxidant activity, which could be beneficial in neutralizing harmful free radicals in biological systems. Moreover, the antibacterial properties of the CuNPs were tested against various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The nanoparticles exhibited a strong inhibitory effect on these bacteria, suggesting they could be effectively used to prevent bacterial contamination in food products. This aligns with previous findings on the antibacterial efficacy of silver nanoparticles synthesized using plant extracts[4]. This research not only contributes to the growing body of knowledge on nanotechnology's role in healthcare[2][3] and its economic impact[3] but also introduces a novel application of nanotechnology in food preservation. By utilizing fruit waste, a substance that would otherwise contribute to environmental degradation, the researchers have presented a sustainable method of producing nanoparticles that could have far-reaching implications for both the environment and public health. The study's implications are twofold. First, it suggests a viable, eco-friendly method of nanoparticle synthesis that could reduce the reliance on harmful chemicals and processes. Second, it introduces a potential application for these nanoparticles in preserving fruits, flowers, and vegetables, thereby reducing food waste and potentially improving food safety. In conclusion, the University of North Bengal's research demonstrates the innovative use of fruit waste in nanotechnology, providing a sustainable solution to food preservation challenges. It stands as an example of how science can address environmental issues while advancing technology for the betterment of society.



Main Study

1) Green synthesis of copper nanoparticles by using pineapple peel waste: in vitro characterizations and antibacterial potential.

Published 27th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Emerging Applications of Nanotechnology in Healthcare Systems: Grand Challenges and Perspectives.

3) Current Trends and Challenges in Pharmacoeconomic Aspects of Nanocarriers as Drug Delivery Systems for Cancer Treatment.

4) Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles mediated Diospyros kaki L. (Persimmon): determination of chemical composition and evaluation of their antimicrobials and anticancer activities.

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