Inventing desiccant from corncob

Update: 07:01 | 07/12/2019

(BGO)- With their passion for science, Nguyen Thi Hue and Hoang Dinh Quan, grade-9 students of Dong Lac junior high school in Yen The district, Bac Giang province won second prize at the provincial Technical Innovation Contest for secondary students 2019 with the solution “creating desiccant for food preservation from empty corncob”. 

As observing empty corncobs thrown at the ground corners or pavements, Quan realized they have vacant and foam cores with absolute dryness. He came up with a question if corncob could be used to make desiccant. Quan discussed this question with his classmate named Nguyen Thi Hue.

Bac Giang province, desiccant from corncob, passion for science, Nguyen Thi Hue, Hoang Dinh Quan, Technical Innovation Contest

Hoang Dinh Quan and Nguyen Thi Hue (in the middle) win second prize at the provincial Technical Innovation Contest for secondary students 2019

Then, they presented the idea of creating desiccant for food preservation from empty corncob to their teacher of biology Vuong Hoang Lan.

Thanks to her support, they started the invention “creating desiccant for food preservation from empty corncob”. The cover part of corncob were removed because it’s useless for moisture resistance and easy to get infection. Then, empty corncob was soaked in alcohol for 24 hours to eradicate mold and crushed into 1.5 to 5- milimetre particles. 

After that, corncob powder was squeezed with a hydraulic jack to remove water and alcohol remaining in the corncob minimizing cross section of the corncob particles and increasing turgor pressure in water.

The products of these two students have been conducted 3 experient to compare to silica gen by the National Institute for Food Control. The result showed that moisture-retaining power of corncob is nearly equal to silica gen.

Corncob used to create desiccant is free from harmful microorganisms or molds while the price is very cheap. Hence, using corncob in food and farm product preservation instead of chemical desiccants will bring high economic efficiency.

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Vu Hoang Nam

 
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