Tuesday November 30, 2021

PU researchers convert agri waste into edible sugars

June 28, 2021

LAHORE:A research team under Punjab University Centre for Research in Ionic Liquids (CRIL) Director Dr Maliha Uroos has developed a protocol to convert agricultural waste into food.

The food grade glucose produced can be used for human consumption, in pharmaceuticals, general food industry and for the production of artificial proteins. The CRIL has been recently established by PU VC Prof Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar with an aim to resolve socio-economic problems.

The work is published in international journal of American Chemical Society named “ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering” with an impact factor of 7.63. This research contribution was made possible by her PhD student Azmat Mehmood Asim, in collaboration with Prof Jason Hallett, Imperial College London and Dr Nawshad Muhammad, Khyber Medical University.

Dr Maliha Uroos and her research group successfully produced food grade sugars from the waste of wheat and rice straw that have no significant use except burning at the end, causing smog and increase in pollution. In view of the reports from world-wide organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), food sources are becoming insufficient with every passing day. According to these intimations, carbohydrates and proteins, the primary human food nutrients, will become less available for a huge population in the future. Alternate technologies, thus, should be developed to combat these imminent problems.

This is what Dr Maliha Uroos and her research group worked on and succeeded in the invention. This work is supported by two mega research grants i.e. TDF and NRPU awarded by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.