As it turned out, many synthetic dyes used in the textile industry are far from perfect from an environmental point of view. That is why recently it became necessary to find a less harmful alternative to them.
A successful study by scientists at the University of Utah, led by Jixun Zhan, found that E. coli (E. coli) bacteria can produce a deep blue dye known as indigoidin.
To obtain a sufficient amount of the dye, it was required to carry out a number of genetic manipulations with these bacteria. In the original reproduction of the strain, there is only one copy of the gene, so several copies of the gene were made to get the desired result, which greatly activated the bacteria.
Indigoidin obtained in the laboratory is processed and refined, which makes it safe for use as a colorant in the food industry, in the beverage industry and in cosmetics. Scientists have already filed a patent for their invention and are planning to start its commercial application.
Russian scientists are also working in this direction. An alternative to synthetic dyes can be non-toxic inks that change color due to changes in the nanostructure of the material to be processed.