HCM City students produce edible bags from potatoes

Two students in HCM City have used potatoes to make food bags which are edible and friendly to the environment.

Nong Van Phuoc and Dang Nguyen Xuan Trong from the HCM City Economics & Finance University are business administration and international trade majors, but their great love for the environment prompted them to invent the environmentally friendly product.

HCM City students produce edible bags from potatoes

The bags are edible



“One day I saw my friends eating girdle cakes placed in plastic bags. And the idea of the environmentally-friendly bag came to me,” Phuoc explained.

Phuoc and his co-worker Trong, after trying many materials for the bag, decided that potatoes were the most suited.

They discovered that the process of growing potatoes produces less CO2 than other crops such as cassava, maize and rice. 

Nong Van Phuoc and Dang Nguyen Xuan Trong from the HCM City Economics & Finance University are business administration and international trade majors, but their great love for the environment prompted them to invent the environmentally friendly product.

 

They also discovered that 20 percent of total potato output in each crop doesn’t meet requirements as food, but they still can provide starch, and can be used to make environmentally-friendly bags.


“Why don’t we use the ugly potatoes to get starch and make packaging?” Phuoc said. “If we use, we will have a diverse source of materials, from by-products, potato peels, potatoes with unsatisfactory size, to decayed potatoes."

The potato starch-made bag was listed among the top 10 in the CiC Startup Idea, a competition organized by the HCM City National University.

It was recognized as one of the best projects of the SV Startup 2019 organized by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). The product will compete in the final round in Hanoi on October 4-5.

The impressive thing of the product is that when giving presentation about the product, Phuoc and Trong ate the potato-made packaging to prove the safety of the product. According to Phuoc, the product is made entirely of potatoes, so it is edible and safe for storage.

The outstanding feature of the product, according to Phuoc and Trong, is the degradability.

“There are polymer-made products which can be used for five minutes only, but need 500 years to decompose. Our product can decompose within 3-5 months after use,” Trong said.

“Starch made packaging needs much less time to decompose than the other types of packaging now available in the market,” he said.

Asked about quality, Trong affirmed that biodegradable bags are nearly the same as plastic bags. As the bags made of starch do not contain heavy metals, they are completely safe for users.

Linh Ha 

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