New research conducted by central universities highlights the potential anti-cancer properties of coconut coir. A collaborative effort between Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Delhi University, and the Institute of Medical Sciences has resulted in the creation of a flavoring compound derived from coconut coir, which is reported to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer attributes.
As per BHU officials, the study’s outcomes have been published in reputable journals such as Bioresource Technology, Food Biotechnology, and Applied Food Biotechnology. These findings hold significant promise for the food processing and pharmaceutical industries.
Researchers utilized coconut coir sourced from temple waste
The researchers from BHU utilized coconut coir sourced from temple waste as the foundational material for producing a fermentative food flavor.
Dr. Abhishek Dutt Tripathi from the Department of Dairy Science and Food Technology at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences pointed out that cities like Varanasi, with profound religious and spiritual importance, generate substantial quantities of temple waste containing abundant coconut coir. While biodegradable, this waste could pose environmental risks and act as a breeding ground for various microbial diseases if not properly managed. Leveraging coconut coir’s rich lignocellulosic biomass presents a compelling opportunity.
Dr. Tripathi explained that previous studies have explored diverse methods for converting coconut coir waste’s lignocellulosic biomass into valuable aromatic compounds. Their research aims to advance this work by creating an edible flavoring compound using coconut coir’s lignocellulosic biomass in conjunction with Bacillus aryabhattai, a pioneering approach.
The research team, comprising Dr. Veena Paul from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Dr. Vibhav Gautam from the Centre for Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the Institute of Medical Sciences, and Dr. Aparna Agarwal from the University of Delhi, employed a multi-step process. Coconut coir underwent pretreatment followed by 72 hours of drying at 50 ℃. Subsequently, it was finely powdered and subjected to hydro-distillation. The resulting material was heated at 100±2 ℃ for an hour, filtered, and acidified to separate lignin and cellulose.
The extracted lignin underwent fermentation using Bacillus aryabhattai. After fermentation, the broth was filtered, and the resulting supernatant was extracted using ethyl acetate. This extract was then concentrated and tested on cell lines, demonstrating noteworthy anti-cancer effects against breast cancer cells.