IIT Guwahati scientists develop cheap anti-ageing tech

IIT Guwahati researchers comes up with low cost technology to produce anti-ageing compounds

The anti-aging product developed by IIT Guwahati. Credit: IIT Guwahati

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati has come up with a low-cost membrane technology to produce psychoactive drugs and anti-ageing compounds from agriculture products like camellia sinesis, citrus fruits, pulses and onions.

The technology has been patented and does not use any organic solvents, which normally increases prices, the institute said in a statement on Tuesday 

The technology was developed by Mihir Kumar Purkait, head of Centre for the Environment and professor of chemical engineering department along with his M Tech student V L Dhadge. 

"The health-related benefits of psychoactive drugs (caffeine) and anti-ageing compounds (flavonoids) are attributed to stimulating detoxification of enzyme activity and inhibition of cell invasion and angiogenesis. Because of medicinal applications, flavonoid components have gained popularity as ingredients in pharmaceutical industry. These are also found in smaller amount in bamboo leaves, grapes, apples, and other natural sources," said the institute.

Commercially available techniques use various costly organic solvents like Chloroform, Acetone, Acetonitrile. As a result, the price of these important pharmaceutical raw materials is quite high that ultimately increases the price of the antioxidant. The technology developed by the expert doesn’t require any costly organic solvents and uses only water. "Hence, the cost of the process and price of pharmaceuticals thereon is much cheaper than that of existing solvent-based separation technique. The patented membrane-based green technology has enormous scope to replace existing costly organic solvent-based techniques and can be used for continuation mode of operation in industrial scale," it said.

India is the largest consumer (20% of the global production) and second-largest producer of Camellia Sinensis. It has been estimated that the global market for flavonoids is expected to reach about 412.4 MT by 2022 from 347.8 MT in 2017. The developed technology will support “Make in India” initiative of the Government of India by producing these compounds in the country. This will definitely reduce the import of said polyphenolic compounds, the IITG further said.