The recent fish fiasco across the country has again pushed the importance of food safety to the forefront, and as a result scientists and researchers are trying to look for alternatives to the harmful Formalin.
S. Sabu, an Assistant Professor in Quality Assurance and Food Safety with Cochin University of Science and Technology is working towards developing a liquid natural alternative for chemical preservation by using crustacean shell wastes, herbal plant extract and fruit peel wastes for extending shelf life of fresh fish or frozen seafood.
Chitosan which is a natural, non-toxic bio polymer is extracted from the shrimp and crab shell wastes and has excellent antibacterial and protective effects.
Babu has successfully developed a natural liquid preservative using chitosan and its derivatives from crustacean shell wastes; and phenolic and flavonoid compounds from fruit peels. The technicalities for the commercial production of chitosan and its derivatives from shrimp and crab shell wastes is being worked out by the School of Industrial Fisheries.