Imagine a solution that can wash off nearly 99 per cent germs and pesticide from the vegetables and fruits that you consume everyday. A team of scientists at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) has developed a technology, where a quick two-minute wash with the organic solution, mainly made of vegetable oil extracts, will make food healthier for consumption.
“These glycolipid molecules are capable of cleansing microbes and pesticide loaded on fruits and vegetables. The solution when diluted in water and used to wash these daily consumable, can prevent harmful chemicals from entering human body,” said Asmita Prabhune, senior scientist and expert of the technology from the biochemical division of NCL.
Scientists said a fruit or vegetable goes through at least 20 different pair of hands before it reaches the consumer. Since it is a matter concerning health of everyone consuming vegetables and fruits, the NCL team also undertook a detailed study, during which they found fruits, particularly ones that are consumed without their skin peeled off, to be mostly laden with pesticide and chemicals. “This includes apples, berries, okras and brinjals. Some cereals too have been found to have chemicals sprayed beyond the permissible limits, making them unsafe for consumption,” explained Prabhune.
Rice was yet another grain that was reported to be possessing 1,300 per cent more chemicals than permissible limits. When asked about the advantages of using the solution, Mihir Mehta, another team member and director of recently launched start-up, Green Pyramid Biotech Pvt Ltd, said, “Along with removal of harmful chemicals, fruits and veggies washed with this solution have also been found to remain fresh for longer time.” Ashish Ingale is happy to be using the product and he said there is little awareness about such kind of chemicals.
“One can notice the change in the foods once they are treated with this product. I feel happy that my family now consumes safer food,” said Ingale, who has recommended the product to over 50 people in his society.
When asked the use of this solution and its safety for human consumption, one of the team members said, “Since the solution is made up of vegetable oils, it is fine to be used as a washing or cleansing agent. The concentration is just 10ml per litre water, which can be used for up to 6 kg of vegetable or fruit, making it extremely negligible quantity,” explained Prabhune.