R&D and Innovations South America

Bioplastics made from Mango

Students from Mexican university 'National Polytechnic Institute' (IPN) developed a bioplastic made from mango peel.

The mango bioplastics has similar properties as conventional PET and could be used to create bottles, cutlery, plates and disposable cups.

The objective of the students was to create a flexible biodegradable material from organic waste, that has a six months life time and be reusable as fertilizer or compost.

Karla Guadalupe Gámez Rangel and Mario Isaac Hernández Hernández used carbohydrates, proteins, cellulose, mango rind, corn starch and glycerin to create the biopolymer.

The mango peel was crushed and mixed with cornstarch and glycerin to obtain a viscous substance that was mouldable.

Glycerin acts as a plasticizing agent, corn starch increases the volume of amylase and amylopectin provides flexibility and hardness to the bioplastic.

CLOSING REMARKS

  • Mexican universities are becoming more and more active in the bioplastics scene. They invented bioplastics made from avocado seeds (see article) and they have the guayule rubber growing in Mexico who could singlehandedly disrupt the tyres industry.
  • However, the biggest problem in South America, when it comes to bioplastics, is that they don’t t know how to commercialise and industrialise their inventions.
  • When it comes to bridging the gap between universities and industry, south American governments lack effectiveness and efficiency.

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