UTM researchers to develop natural pigment colours from bacteria

JOHOR BARU: Researchers from UTM have scored a breakthrough by successfully extracting colour pigments from bacteria after a three year project and now hope to use it to produce eco-friendly soap.

The team leader Prof Dr Wan Azlina Ahmad said that the colour pigments have been tested on textiles, plastics, and even as food colourant.

“We have successfully derived pigments from two types of plant-based bacteria, which gives us a natural red and bluish-purple pigments.

“As the two colours are primary colours, we were able to mix the pigments for a wider range of colours,” she said, adding that the bacteria, known as Serratia and Chromobacterium, was not harmful to people.

Dr Wan Azlina added that her team of five, have been working on the project for the past three years.

In an effort to now commercialise their discovery, UTM is teaming up with My Khatulistiwa Sdn Bhd to formulate and produce the soap.

My Khatulistiwa Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Shyam Priah said the company had always emphasise on eco-friendly and biodegradable merchandises.

“We are glad to be working with UTM to produce 100% plant based and natural coloured soap.

“Many these days have become more environmental conscious and prefer using eco-friendly product,” she said.

She added that since the product was manufactured here, the price of the product would be relatively lower than others in the market, which were imported.

“We will start with a range of toiletries such as shampoos, shower gels, and bar soaps,” said Shyam, after attending the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UTM and the company at Skudai here on Tuesday.

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Environment , UTM , soap , backteria , researchers


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