Banana Peel: Utilizing Nature’s Eco-Friendly Bioresource
Bananas are among the most consumed fruits worldwide, with an annual production of 115.7 million tonnes in 2018. While the fruit itself is well-known for its nutritional value, the banana peel often goes unnoticed. However, recent studies have shed light on the potential of banana peels as a natural and sustainable bioresource for various eco-friendly applications.
Utilization of Banana Waste
Banana plants offer a plethora of resources that can be utilized for different industrial purposes. Various parts of the banana plant, such as the fruit, fruit peel, flower bud, leaves, and pseudo-stem (banana trunk), have been studied for their potential applications. The pseudo-stem, in particular, yields good quality fiber that can be used in the making of sanitary pads, textiles, pulp and paper, food, and reinforced composite materials.
Nutritional Value of Bananas
Bananas are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. They are a rich source of fiber, iron, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. Owing to the increasing awareness about health and hygiene, there is a growing interest in hygienic food products and functional foods.
Dietary Fiber in Banana Peel
Banana peels contain a considerable amount of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber plays a crucial role in maintaining digestive health and preventing various diseases. The inclusion of banana peels in nutritional products and pharmaceuticals is encouraged due to their antioxidant, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.
Fruit Waste Valorization
The utilization of fruit waste has gained significant attention in recent years. Banana peels have been identified as a valuable source of polysaccharides, polyphenols, dietary fibers, and flavor components. These components can be utilized in various applications such as prebiotics and nutraceuticals.
Banana peels are often overlooked but hold immense potential as a natural and sustainable bioresource. Their utilization can contribute to eco-friendly practices across various industries. From sanitary pads to nutraceuticals, banana peels offer a wide range of applications that can benefit both the environment and human well-being.