Coconut wastewater needn’t go down the drain,shows prof

B Narayanaswamy shows the enriched nata de coco. DH PHOTO/B H SHIVAKUMAR

A professor from the city has been granted a patent on the innovative use of bacterial cellulose of coconut wastewater. 

Dr B Narayanaswamy, a professor of agricultural microbiology and the coordinator of the placement cell at the University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, says the coconut wastewater has proven health benefits and can be used as a substitute for more than 25 commodities. 

His innovation involved enriching bacterial cellulose. “New microbial commodities can be manufactured with the yield that we get from extra enrichment,” he tells DH. Bacterial cellulose ferments with the yeast and bacteria. Nata de coco is the internationally recognised name for the enriched bacterial cellulose from coconut wastewater, he adds.

Narayanaswamy started working on the project in 1994 and received the patent from the National Research Development Corporation, Ministry of Science and Technology, in September 2018. “The coconut wastewater is usually thrown into waterbodies, causing water pollution,” he says. 

Biodegradable currency paper, synthetic rubber, bandage wrap or artificial skin, cosmetics, ultrafilters, artificial leather products, etc are some of the products that can be manufactured from the yield, the professor says. “The yield acts as a pollutant removal and has numerous health benefits. It helps to reduce weight and is rich in dietary fibre,” Narayanaswamy says. 

Nata de coco acts as a substitute for the bandage. The coconut’s cool features help heal burn wounds. With the enrichment, the yield can be taken depending upon the purpose of the commodities needs to be manufactured. 

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