Unair students innovate healing medication from pineapple skins

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Teguh Dwi Saputro, Fina Ainur Rohmah, and Windi Nurhidayah, pineapple nd that skin extract is effective for treatment of wounds. (photo: Unair Public Relations)

IO, Surabaya – Three students from Airlangga University (Unair), Surabaya, East Java, have come up with an innovation made from pineapple skins: a wound medicine or reliever of skin problems. The three are Teguh Dwi Saputro (Faculty of Nursing), Fina Ainur Rohmah (Faculty of Nursing), and Windi Nurhidayah (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine).

According to Teguh, all this time people only use the flesh of the pineapple for consumption, or to be processed into other food. Pineapple skins, however, go directly into the garbage, without any thought of their possible use, whereas in fact they contain various chemical substances with the potential to serve as raw material for wound medications.

“Pineapple skin contains active compounds that can assist the acceleration of wound healing. They have to be extracted first, and then developed into a topical medication, in a form of gel,” said Teguh, as quoted by Unair Public Relations on Sunday (7/7/2019).

Based on a study of scientific literature by his team, Teguh explained that pineapple skin contains flavonoids, tannins, saponins, steroids, phenols, and amino acids. Each of these contributes to the healing of external wounds. This innovation is not only beneficial for the medical field, but is also an effort to reduce waste products.

A brief process of the pineapple extract gel: air dries clean pineapple skin, without exposing it to direct sunlight. The skin is pulped and its essence extracted, for processing into a gel.

Pineapple extract gel is divided into certain concentrations. His team, therefore, performed experiments on white rats with incisions in their bodies. Healing of incision wounds turned out faster with the pineapple extract compared to the action of conventional medicines available in pharmacies.

Teguh said he and his team chose a gel because of its advantages, one being a high level of water content. This contributes to hydration of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), thus easing the medication’s penetration into the skin. Gel has a cooling characteristic, moisturizes, is easy to use and absorb, and has a soothing effect.

“Also, gel is easy to be applied on the skin, it does not irritate and it is soothing. A hydrophilic based topical gel is used thanks to its dispersion on the skin, has a cooling effect, does not clog pores, is easy to remove with water, and is a good drug delivery,” said Teguh. (est)