Sunday, August 18, 2013


After the recent findings that Silver can multiply the effect and efficacy of medical antibiotics several fold, here comes another news which says Copper is an efficient "antibiotic" that can destroy a number of disease causing bugs affecting humanity. Of course historically copper vessels were used for coking foods and storing water and it may not be coincidence that the older generation people were much more immune to modern day diseases which are causing umpteen number of food safety episodes affecting millions of people. The fatality from these diseases is not insignificant in spite of enormous advances made by the medical science during the last few decades. According to a group of scientists in Germany if copper nano particles are deployed in food packing materials the industry will have a sure way of protecting the contents from the rampage of pathogenic bacteria and other infections due to virus, mold etc. Here is the gist of the findings of the above group which is very interesting.

"His innovation relies on copper, an element valued for centuries for its antibiotic properties. Drelich, a professor of materials science and engineering, has discovered how to embed nano particles of the red metal into vermiculite, an inexpensive, inert compound sometimes used in potting soil. In preliminary tests on local lake water, it killed 100 percent of E. coli bacteria in the sample. Drelich also found that it was effective in killing Staphylococcus aureus, the common staph bacteria.Other studies have shown that copper is toxic to Listeria, Salmonella and even the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA.Bacteria aren't the only microorganisms that copper can kill. It is also toxic to viruses and fungi. If it were incorporated into food packaging materials, it could help prevent a variety of food borne diseases, Drelich says.The copper-vermiculite material mixes well with many other materials, like cardboard and plastic, so it could be used in packing beads, boxes, even cellulose-based egg cartons.And because the cost is so low—25 cents per pound at most—it would be an inexpensive, effective way to improve the safety of the food supply, especially fruits and vegetables. Drelich is working with the Michigan Tech SmartZone to commercialize the product through his business, Micro Techno Solutions, the recipient of the 2012 Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest Food Safety Innovation Award. He expects to further test the material and eventually license it to companies that pack fresh food"
One of the mysteries in India regarding the eternal safety of Ganges water which is often venerated as holy was attributed to the content of copper present in that water though there could be other factors also playing some part in its preservation. What the scientists in Germany have done was to prepare copper nano particles in a usable form by incorporating it in a vermiculite base that can be used in making packaging materials which carry the protective properties on a permanent basis. Before going ga ga with this innovative work, one has to keep in mind regarding further work that is needed to standardize the product for use in preserving a number of foods of different nature including fresh foods. Concept wise this is a welcome development with far reaching impact.


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