Made with fiber and other nutrients, cellulose products are a staple in home kitchens and bathrooms.
But now scientists have found a way to make them even more versatile.ABC News (Australia) producer Jon O’Sullivan says cellulose is a “superfood” and that the new cellulose product is the first to come from a “big brand”.
“The way cellulose works is you get these huge molecules of the plant material and you then make them into a protein-like substance and you can then mix these with other substances and use them in a range of different products,” he said.
“You could mix up a range for a home cook, or you could make a soup out of it.
And then you can also use it in the food industry.”ABC News: Cellulosic materials found in household products, household cleaning products, and food productsThe cellulose-based products are made using “the cellulose’s active ingredient, cellulosic cellulose”, as the ABC’s Jon O”Sullivan reports.
This cellulose protein is then extracted from the plant.
“What we’ve been able to do is isolate the cellulose in the plant, and then we have made a process in which we extract the cellulosilicate and put it into a gel, and we then use it as a gel to make this gel,” Dr O”Shells said.
This gel, which is then mixed with other ingredients, such as water, starch and sugar, produces cellulose and can then be used to make a range from food products to home cleaning products.
“It’s very different to what we’ve done before, because we’re looking at something that’s actually in nature, not just a product that’s in the supermarket,” he explained.
“But it’s very simple to do, and it has a lot of benefits.”
Dr O”Sullys lab is working with an Australian research team to develop the cellulase-based product.
The company hopes to launch a range in the second half of next year.
“We’re working with a company called Vitacost, and the company is using the technology to make these products,” Dr John Brown said.
He said the cellulases can be used in a number of different ways, including for a range to be mixed with water and in the case of home cleaning agents.
“And also in our case, as part of the production process, we’ll make this product to produce the cleaning products,” Professor Brown said, “and then we’ll have the products for people to use.”ABC Radio Melbourne’s Paul Rafferty spoke to Dr Brown, who is also part of a team developing a new cellulase gel.