<!DOCTYPE html>




From well organised railways to every corner, wall and street of public region, a disgusting sight that you may often notice in many developing Asian countries are the red paan stains! These paan stains are nothing but a menace, causing not only deadly respiratory diseases but also degradation of historic monuments and public places. Being ignorant towards this problem for years together, it wasn’t long to stir creative minds towards solution for this gi-normous problem!

What exactly is this paan?

Paan is a traditional mouth freshener enjoyed after food which has various benefits like; enhancing digestion, preventing cavities and also consisting of few components which have shown to have anti-cancer properties.

So where does the problem arise?

Few varieties of paan have components which include katha/catechu and slaked lime. The combination of these two components makes it a perfect blend for producing the traditional red colour wherein, continuous chewing causes excess salivation and hence spitting out of the substance time to time. This rampant spitting after consumption of Paan is a widespread nuisance in India as well as much of the South Asian countries.

Image taken from Rail News Posted on 12 Sep 2017 by Indian Railways

In addition to being a health hazard, where it acts as a breeding ground for many pathogenic organisms causing air borne diseases, these paan stains are a major eyesore that afflict public places and monuments of historical importance.

Why we chose to solve this problem?

Various economical methods are currently employed in cleaning of these paan stains which include manual scrubbing using corrosive chemicals and acids affecting the environment as well as health of the cleaners. Moreover, a large quantity of water is consumed daily for this activity (~ 60,000 Litres/day) and hence difficult to employ in areas of water scarcity. As this method is cost and time-intensive to implement on a city-wide scale , only a few areas can be actually paid attention to.

Image taken from Rail News Posted on 12 Sep 2017 by Indian Railways

The Synbio Solution

In our project we aim to address this sociological problem by engineering bacteria to produce combination of enzymes (tannases, gallase and other bond specific enzymes-catechol 1,2 and 2,3 dioxygenases) extracellularly which target the polyphenolic rings in the catechu moiety and hence degrade the colour within few hours of application to the stains. Making it an environment friendly, time-saving, non-labour intensive, wide area application system without involvement of large quantities of water and corrosive chemicals.


Our co-ordinates:

L .Nappo Road, Matunga
Dadar East,Mumbai,
Maharashtra 400019,