Banana or Musa acuminata, is one of the most vital staple crop in the tropical areas. It is a common food to every person especially in the Southeast Asia where there are many banana plantations like here in the Philippines. Bananas naturally grow in shady and moist regions like on marshlands and other wetlands. The plant of this fruit usually reach a peak height of 20-25 ft., bearing up to 200 number of bananas divided into clusters commonly called the “hands”. Each banana has a size of up to 12 inches in length and 2 inches in width. It is one of the largest fruit crop around the globe with an approximate amount of 58,120,898 tons produced anually. Philippines is on the fourth rank of highest production worldwide constituting 6% of world’s bananas, having India the greatest producer with 20%. (Morton, 1987)
B. Banana Peels
Using phytochemical tests in banana peels, it was shown that the peels contain reducing substances such as tannins, mucins, proteins, alkaloids, saponins and flavonnoids. Through fermentation and utilization of Vitamin C, it can produce ethanol and it shows that peels in aqueous solution is acidic as it has the said Vitamin C (Solidum, 2011, June)
Banana peels have surprisingly inventive uses including polishing things. Scientists have now added purification of drinking water contaminated with toxic metals to the list. A study in the American Chemical Society’s journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, reports that minced banana peel performs better than an array of other water purification materials and can do so in a sustainable way. Gustavo Castro said, “I chose to work with banana peels because I have heard for a long time that we usually throw out the best part of the fruit and that most of the nutrients and proteins are in parts not used by us, such as the peels. From there, I decided to make an initial experiment to determine the chemical composition of the peel.” (American Chemical Society, 8 August 2011)
According to Gustavo Castro, a Brazilian environmental scientist and banana lover, banana peelings can actually purify water better than those expensive purifiers such as silica and carbon. In his study, it was shown that banana peelings contain nitrogen, sulfur and especially, organic compounds like carboxylic acids, enabling them to bind with metals they come in contact with. Castro and his colleagues experimented if these acids would be effective in polluted water. They dried and minced banana peels and added them to jars of water obtained from Brazil’s Panama River, known to contain copper and lead. They also built filters by compressing the banana peels and pushing water through them. (Hirschfeld, 17 March 2011)
Researchers from the Bioscience Institute at Botucatu, Brazil, said that the banana peels can outperform even conventional purifiers such as aluminium oxide, cellulose and silica. Dimitris Kalderis, a wastewater treatment expert at the Department of Environmental Engineering in the...