"We competed with young innovators from different countries. There were 400 research reports dealing with this technology. We are grateful that we won the second place," Rhezaldian Eka Darmawan, one of the students, said here on Wednesday.
Rhezaldian and Surya Diki Andrianto students of the Engineering Program, Faculty of Chemical Engineering.
Among the countries that participated in the event were Romania, Poland, the USA, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Bulgaria, Egypt, Iraq, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, China, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Moldova, Indonesia and Vietnam.
In addition to the silver medal, the Indonesian students also won the Honor for Invention (Special Award) given by the Indias Innovation Organization Representative for their invention.
Rhezaldian said the preservative food made from bagasse is called Bagasse Edible Coating. It can be used for vegetables, fruits and meat.
He explained that the preservative was tested on apples, and it was proven that an apple with skin intact can be preserved this way for 75 days, while one without skin can only survive up to 5 days.
"This material is safe as it is made of food grade material. One can safely eat the product without having to first wash it," he explained.
Rhezaldian said the inspiration came from the fact that any delivery process of import or export of fruits takes a long time, and a lot of produce either rots in transit or becomes too dry, causing loss to the local farmers.
In addition, many imported fruits are coated on the outside by wax to inhibit the decomposition process. However, this substance is dangerous, and the product has to be washed over and over again before it can be consumed.
He noted that earlier, a fruit preservative was made from residual milk and polysaccharide.