Saturday, June 6, 2020

Stellenbosh University food scientists have turned stale bread into hand sanitizers in a new experiment facilitated by the University.

After the President announced that people should observe self-isolation, scientists came up with a plan to turn bread into sanitizers. The idea was brain stormed by Dr Timo, Hayward postdoctoral researcher, Tait and MSc food science student Sebastin Orth.

“It smells just a little bit like toast,” said Dr Stefan Hayward, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Science at Stellenbosh University (SU).

Food scientists bottled end products for a week in the laboratory. They managed to get dried bread crumbs from one of their industry partners and combined 60kgs of bread crumbs with hot water and also added alpha amylase.

Other ingredients were added too in the experiment and the pH level was adjusted to optional levels to convert starch into sugar. The end product looked like mashed potatoes as explained by the scientists.

After producing 18,2ltrs, members of staff were able to take home with them hand sanitizers and the scientists hope to produce more sanitizers even for the benefit of the nation to help prevent the COVID-19.

“We were able to satisfy our scientific curiosity whether or not we would be able to ferment bio-ethanol from a waste product such as stale bread, and at the same time were also able to apply our knowledge to produce an antiseptic formula that can be of help in this time of crisis,” says Hayward.

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