Bengaluru: When we tell you that cucumber is one of the most liked and used vegetables in Indian cuisine, you can’t help but nod your head in approval. 

You can eat it as it is or add some salt. It is indeed delicious! 

But did you know that cucumber peels can be used as effective packaging material? 

Sounds interesting, isn’t it? 

Researchers at IIT Kharagpur have found out a way to use cellulose nanocrystals extracted from cucumber peels for making packaging material. 

“Cucumbers generate about 12 per cent residual wastes obtained after processing either the peels or whole slices as waste. We have used the celluloses, hemicellulose, pectin extracted from this processed material for deriving new bio-materials which are useful as nano-fillers in bio-composites,” says Jayeeta Mitra, Assistant Professor, IIT Kharagpur, quoted by PTI.

Furthermore, she added, “Our study shows that cellulose nanocrystals derived from cucumber peels possess modifiable properties due to the presence of abundant hydroxyl groups, which resulted in better biodegradability and biocompatibility.”

On the use of plastic, she added, “While single-use plastic is consciously being avoided by consumers, they still remain largely in circulation as food packaging items. Natural biopolymers are unable to make their way in this industry as they lack strength, elongation, barrier property, optical property, and in some cases even biological safety.”
Why cucumber is a godsend: 

Cucumber can be beneficial to anyone in more ways than one: 

They help in maintaining good hydration levels, help in weight management as they contain lesser calories, are rich in vitamin K, B and C. They also contain copper, phosphorous and magnesium. 

It is also interesting to note that cucumbers help in regulating blood sugar control. 

In this way, cucumber can have a myriad uses. Consuming this vegetable is indeed beneficial in many ways.