Ready to eat, ready to wear
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2000. Ready to eat, ready to wear. Spore 87. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46796
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore87.pdf
One day, you could eat your hat - and more! An American company is currently developing a new line of textile fibres, based on maize starch, which can be used just like petroleum-based synthetic fibres. Cargill Dow Polymers is preparing to launch a...
One day, you could eat your hat - and more! An American company is currently developing a new line of textile fibres, based on maize starch, which can be used just like petroleum-based synthetic fibres. Cargill Dow Polymers is preparing to launch a new family of polymers on the market known as 'polylactic acid polymers' or PLA for short, which are made from renewable resources such as maize. They have the appearance and texture of natural fibres, and the resilience of synthetics. In the textile industry, they can be used separately, or can be blended with cotton, silk or wool. The main elements in PLA are the sugars from maize, which incidentally is now the major crop of Africa. This may not be a priority in food security strategies, but researchers are keen to identify other sorts of polymers from other plants or root crops with high sugar content such as sorghum, cassava, sugar-cane and even agricultural wastes. These polymers have a much wider use than in textiles alone: in the agrifood business they can be used in canned and packaged foods - soups, flours, pastries and dairy products - and in other areas such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemical products (paper, glues, explosives), mining, metallurgy and construction.