Pineapple (Ananas Comosus) is a tropical fruit having exceptional juiciness, vibrant tropical flavor and immense health benefits. Pineapples are not only taken fresh but they have been commercialized in the canning industry. Morris cultivar is mostly supplied to the canning industry where only the flesh is utilized and the rest of the pineapple (50 wt%) such as the core, stem, peels and crown are discarded as wastes. In the extraction of bromelain which is a vital proteolytic enzyme the whole pineapple including its peels, core, stem and crown can be utilized. This enzyme is very valuable and considered as a food supplement with a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Thus, in this study, bromelain is extracted from the flesh, crown, stem, core and peel of pineapples using simple one stage hollow fiber nanofiltration membrane process. The different parts of the pineapple were crushed to extract the juice. The juice was then centrifuged and the supernatant was then passed through a nanofiltration membrane. Results revealed the retentates from the different pineapple parts contain high amounts of bromelain in descending order flesh > peel > core > crown > stem. The amount of bromelain activity increased after every process especially after freeze drying.
In this study magnetic separable photocatalyst beads containing maghemite nanoparticles (γ-Fe(2)O(3)) in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) polymer were prepared and used in the reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in an aqueous solution under sunlight. The unique superparamagnetic property of the photocatalyst contributed by the γ-Fe(2)O(3) and robust property of PVA polymer allow the magnetic beads to be recovered easily and reused for at least 7 times without washing. The concentration of γ-Fe(2)O(3) was varied from 8% (v/v) to 27% (v/v) and the results revealed that the beads with 8% (v/v) γ-Fe(2)O(3) exhibited the best performance where Cr(VI) was reduced to Cr(III) in only 30 min under sunlight. The use of the PVA has improved the bead properties and life cycle of beads which is in line with sustainable practices.
Magnetically separable photocatalyst beads containing nano-sized iron oxide in alginate polymer were prepared. This magnetic photocatalyst beads are used in slurry-type reactors. The magnetism of the catalyst arises from the nanostructured particles gamma-Fe(2)O(3), by which the catalyst can be easily recovered by the application of an external magnetic field. These synthesized beads are sunlight-driven photocatalyst. In the system without magnetic photocatalyst beads, no chromium reduction was observed under sunlight irradiation due to the stability of the chromium (VI). Upon the addition of magnetic photocatalyst beads, the photo-reduction of Cr(VI) was completed in just after only 50min under sunlight irradiation due to the photocatalytic activity of the beads. However when placed away from sunlight, the reduction rate of the chromium is just about 10%. These observations were explained in terms of absorption occurrence of chromium (VI) onto the catalyst surface which took place in this reaction. In addition, photo-reduction rate of chromium (VI) was more significant at lower pH. The results suggest that the use of magnetic separable photocatalyst beads is a feasible strategy for eliminating Cr(VI).
The use of electrospinning process in fabricating tissue engineering scaffolds has received great attention in recent years due to its simplicity. The nanofibers produced via electrospinning possessed morphological characteristics similar to extracellular matrix of most tissue components. Porosity plays a vital role in developing tissue engineering scaffolds because it influences the biocompatibility performance of the scaffolds. In this study, maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and subsequently electrospun to produce nanofibers. Five factors; nanoparticles content, voltage, flow rate, spinning distance, and rotating speed were varied to produce the electrospun nanofibrous mats with high porosity value. Empirical model was developed using response surface methodology to analyze the effect of these factors to the porosity. The results revealed that the optimum porosity (90.85%) was obtained using 5% w/v nanoparticle content, 35kV of voltage, 1.1ml/h volume flow rate of solution, 8cm spinning distance and 2455rpm of rotating speed. The empirical model was verified successfully by performing confirmation experiments. The properties of optimum PVA/γ-Fe2O3 nanofiber mats such as fiber diameter, mechanical properties, and contact angle were investigated. In addition, cytocompatibility test, in vitro degradation rate, and MTT assay were also performed. Results revealed that high porosity biodegradable γ-Fe2O3/polyvinyl alcohol nanofiber mats have low mechanical properties but good degradation rates and cytocompatibility properties. Thus, they are suitable for low load bearing biomedical application or soft tissue engineering scaffold.