South African Scientists Make Sanitiser Using Bread

South African Scientists Make Sanitiser Using Bread. Stellenbosch University food scientists have created a hand sanitiser from bread.

Stellenbosch University food scientists have created a hand sanitiser from bread. Well, there’s something that people have hardly ever heard of right? During a one week procedure, the team created 18 litres of alcohol-based hand sanitiser made from stale breadcrumbs. The procedure was done at the Stellenbosch University in-house fermentation tank.

According to Stefan Hayward, the postdoctoral researcher at the department of food science at the university, the sanitiser smells a bit like toast. He is part of a group that looks at ways of lowering food waste and using by-products. The postdoctoral researcher says, “Waste implies a need to discard something which has become useless and needs to be disposed of. We see waste products and the tendency to produce too much food not as a problem, but as raw ingredients or by-products that can provide the impetus to invent new ways of reducing, reusing and recycling.” The research team then took the decision to create their own sanitiser after president Cyril Ramaphosa publicised the national state of disaster, by making bio-ethanol from bread.

Stefan Hayward stated that bread is made up of 40% starch that can be used as a carbohydrate source for the production of bio-ethanol through fermentation. Their end product, which looked like mashed potatoes, was left in room temperature for seven days until the procedure of fermentation was done and they could begin distilling it. From the first bread batch they were able to make 10.5 litres of 75% ethanol. It was mixed with other components such as hydro peroxide, a denaturant and glycerol. It ended up being 18. 2 litres of hand sanitiser.

by Alexandra Ramaite

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