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Utilization of Pectinases for Fiber Extraction from Banana Plant’s Waste

Sunita Chauhan and Sharma AK

Today, biotechnology is perceived as a revolution throughout the world. With biotechnology, certain crops have been developed that can withstand the brutalities of weather changes, helping poor farmers of the developing countries to retain their yield and increase their output manifold. Biotechnology has also made agriculture more competitive and sustainable by creating new non-food markets for crops. To exploit the vast potential of biotechnology involved in non-food plant-products, the present study was taken up to explore the possibilities of improving the fiber extraction process of banana plant with the help of commercially available pectinase enzyme. Waste biomass of banana plant is widely available in many countries and the fiber extracted from its pseudo stem has utility for diversified range of applications including the manufacture of good quality handmade paper. The enzymatic treatment of green stem and trunk of banana plant before extracting fiber with the Raspador machine has resulted into an improvement in the yield as well as the quality of fiber obtained. This may not only result into a better utilization of the waste biomass of banana plant but may also increase profitability of the banana cultivators besides providing a source of good raw material for making handmade paper.