University students convert grass to edible starch
Students from Kabarak University in Kenya have developed a way to convert grass into starch flour. The team believes their innovative idea could help alleviate hunger around the world.

The researchers use drought-resistant Bermuda and Ryegrass, which take two months to grow. After harvesting, the grass is washed, dried, and ground into powder. The team then adds enzymes to break down the cellulose into starch.

So far, there is not much information about the process, it is not known how effective the enzyme will be and whether it can actually break down cellulose into starch. As they write, at the laboratory they have the necessary temperature, pressure, and conditions for the reaction to occur after adding the enzymes which convert it to amylose, a starch that is similar to the one found in maize. The question is whether this can be reproduced in real life.

The researchers are now waiting for a certificate from the Kenya Bureau of Standards to clear the product as fit for human consumption before they can begin large-scale production and also started the process of patenting the project. In order for the product to be marketed in the EU, it has to meet strict standards as it would fall under the scope of the Novel Food legislation.


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