Use of natural dyes in various fields pushed

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña has cited the applications of natural dyes in some businesses amid their competitive advantage.

Dela Peña said application of natural dyes can be expanded in nutritional food, cosmetic, processed food products, and for conservation.

“Remember the DOST has also a very big program in nutrition and for many of us, as they say, when we eat food, it has to appeal to all our senses. So we want good smell, good taste, good color, and we add good music for ambience. Here, we can see that our food can be made more attractive but less risky or not risky by using our natural dyes,” he said in a webinar.

Dela Peña said natural dyes are naturally-occurring colorants extracted from plants or plant parts thus are environmentally-friendly.

He said natural dyes can be also applied in cosmetic products.

“I think this is one product that will not have reduced demand, whether in the normal or non-normal situation…And in fact, we also have another program where I think this will be very useful because we have a halal program for cosmetics and maybe PTRI (Philippine Textile Research Institute) will be able to help,” dela Peña said.

“And then we have the processed food products and for purposes of conservation, we also have this product,” he added.

Dela Peña further said natural dyes can be used in extraction and dyeing, powder production, silkscreen printing, textile paints and inks, and upscale extraction and application.

He also highlighted the competitive advantages of natural dyes, including the higher productivity for dye extraction and application, improved colorfastness properties, prolonged shelf life of dye powders, the antibacterial property, and UV protection property.

DOST-PTRI director Celia Elumba said that from 2015 to 2017, various research and development (R&D) projects in the development of technological applications enhanced the Philippine NatDyes program not only in the textile field, but also in the field of cosmetics, food, and craft industry.

“For 2021-2027, the project will further strengthen and improve natural dyes’ national capacity and sustainability by upscaling technologies on these colorants for food, cosmetics and crafts as well as exploring new dyes sources from botanical, mineral, and algae,” she said.

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