Pay attention to monitoring the freshness of food
A female student majoring in Food Technology at the International University (Ho Chi Minh City National University) won an award in the field of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences under The Global Undergraduate Awards 2023 – to recognize research projects at the university level around the world. Awards program for educational programs.
Sharing thoughts on the topic, Linh said she is particularly interested in research that contributes to protecting the environment and ensuring safety for human health. So, when starting work on her graduate thesis, Linh immediately thought of the topic of biodegradable smart packaging combined with edible fruits and vegetables.
After discussing and receiving suggestions from the instructor, Associate Professor Dr. Le Ngoc Liu – Lecturer in the Department of Food Technology, Linh spent about 2 months reading related documents on red dragon fruit and tubers to suggest appropriate research directions .
Red dragon fruit and beetroot have a deep red color because they contain betacyanin – a natural color indicator, which has many biological activities such as antibacterial and anti-oxidant. Furthermore, this substance is very sensitive to the pH environment. Changes in pH in food are an indicator that food has begun to spoil.
According to Linh, when seen with the naked eye, we can identify the extent to which food has spoiled based on the color of the wrapper. When the pH environment increases, the extracts in red dragon fruit and beetroot will change, causing the red or purple-pink wrapper to gradually turn orange, and finally turn pale yellow or lose color when the pH is reached. The highest is 12.
The focus of the research is to sequentially combine the biofilm-forming agent chitosan with red dragon fruit extract and beetroot extract to create smart wraps that are biodegradable and monitor food freshness. Especially protein-rich foods like meat and seafood (shrimp, fish).
The next step is to compare the functions and physical properties between these two types of membranes. For example, “beetroot membranes are better at blocking light, UV rays and water vapor, while red dragon fruit membranes are more flexible,” Linh said.
The subject meets all the criteria
Entering the experimental stage, Thuy Linh experienced countless failures and had to discard many samples. Furthermore, pressure on time to submit his thesis forced Linh to accelerate the progress of his thesis.
After about 4 months of hard work, Linh got the first “sweet fruit” when his topic received high marks from the thesis defense committee. Shortly thereafter, Thuy Linh successfully added her name to the list of students honored with the Global Winner Award.
The person who suggested Thuy Linh to present her topic at The Global Undergraduate Awards program, Associate Professor Dr. Ngoc Liu, confirmed: “This is the best article on many criteria that I have ever directed, including research results. , Analytical thinking, reasoning. -Deep understanding of the subject, reasoning and raising problems, understanding the importance and wider impact of the subject, ability to convince the reader. The impressive achievement in this award is not very surprising.”
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