Newly appointed biology teacher Vũ Thị Mai Anh won first prize in food technology at Eureka 2017, a contest for research and technology students on the use of pangasius fat for producing environmentally-friendly bio-plastics.
Anh’s research theme about selecting bacteria to convert fat from pangasius into bioplastics, specifically polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), opens the door for the production of biodegradable plastic products from pangasius fat, which comprises about 25 per cent of each fish.
Bioplastics are not harmful to any living organisms or tissues. Thus, they can be utilised in a variety of medical applications, including as thread for surgerical sutures and endovascular (venous) stent graft. It can be also used to make durable products such as parts for electronics – and mobile phone and laptop caseds and covers.
This was the first research on the use of fat – and pangasius fat in particular – in producing biopolymers (PHAs) in Việt Nam. “This will open prospect for new applications of by-products of the fisheries industry. This study is especially meaningful when Việt Nam is among the leading fish exporters in the world,” Mai Anh said.