As the creators of this material claim, this material is edible and even delicious.
Although this sounds a bit unbelievable, researchers from the Institute of Industrial Sciences, pri University of Tokyo, led by scientist Yuya Sakai, have developed a way to make building materials from food scraps that are stronger than concrete and yet remain edible.
According to United Nations reports, there are years around the world throw away about 1.3 billion tons of food and some of that amount has arisen due to inefficiencies in the food chain. Also, large amounts of food are wasted as excess or expired.
Recycling discarded food is not new, and the idea of it probably dates back to the time when people first realized that leftover food can be used in hunting, or as bait. Today, there are entire industries that deal with it by composting or by converting leftovers from, for example, restaurants into pig food ili by converting biowaste into fuel or part of a plastic-based product.
The remains of Chinese cabbage leaves have been turned into a material that has three times higher resistance to bending than concrete.
The team from the University of Tokyo went a step further and not only turned leftover foods like fruits and vegetables into something useful, but maintains in edible form. Their basic idea is to mix the remains of fruits and vegetables with seaweed, and then go through processing processes together to reach the final product, which is said to be stronger than concrete, but still has the taste of the original material.
Using technology originally developed to make wood powder construction material, the researchers used food scraps including seaweed, cabbage leaves, orange peel, wound, pumpkins and bananas, which were then vacuum dried and then pulverized. The powder thus obtained was then mixed with water and spices, and then pressed into a mold at a high temperature.
As a result of the process, a number of materials with different characteristics were obtained, some of which had higher bending strength than concrete. It is interesting that the materials have a taste even after the process, and yet they cannot rot and are not susceptible to fungi and insects, for a testing period of four months. The researchers point out that even the addition of sugar and salt did not affect the strength of the material, but that on the other hand, not all food residues proved to be equally effective.
“If we exclude examples of materials obtained from pumpkin, all other materials have exceeded our goal in terms of resistance to bending. We also found Chinese cabbage leaves, which led to the production of the material three times stronger than concrete, can be mixed with a weaker pumpkin-based material to provide effective strength, ”said research team member Kota Machida.
However, although it has been shown that the obtained materials are stronger than concrete in terms of strength, they are not nearly as hard, but researchers point out that it can still have a wide range of “creative applications”.
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Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.
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