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The Potential of Tannin found in Avocado Seeds as ink

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    The Potential of Tannin Found in
    Avocado Seeds (Persea Americana)
    As Alternative Source of Ink

    A Science Investigatory Project
    in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirement
    in Science IV

    Presented to:
    Ms. Hazel M. De Ramos
    Science IV Teacher

    Presented by:
    Española, Daveriel P.
    Misolas, Kim Zeus N.
    Sta. Ana, Rhoel Marvin O.
    Discaya, DoumaJairah V.
    Orgado, Nadine Gladys B.

    Polytechnic University of the Philippines
    Laboratory High School
    February 2014
    Table of Contents

    Chapter I: The Problem and its Setting

    A. Introduction

    B. Objectives of the Study

    C. Background of the Study

    D. Statement of the Problem

    E. Hypothesis

    F. Significance of the Study

    G. Scope and Limitations

    H. Definition of Terms

    Chapter II: Abstract

    Chapter III: Review of Related Literature and Studies

    A. Related Literature

    B. Related Studies

    Chapter IV: Methodology

    A. Methodology Flow Chart

    B. Experimental Procedures

    Chapter V: Results and Discussion

    Chapter VI: Finding and Analysis of Data

    Chapter VII: Conclusion and Recommendations

    Commercial inks used today on our pens and printers as we know are simple but little we know about it is that it has complete compositions. Pen inks that were used in the early times were iron gall inks, but because of its corrosive effect on paper, its component were changed and here they are a little amount of phosphoric acid ester, imidazoline-type activator, polytyethylenealkylamine, polyotyethylent, alkylame and alkylalkanolamide. But these are not the only substances that can be found in pen inks, there may be toluene and xylene, and other heavy metal compounds which may cause skin irritating, nauseas, blurred visions, dizziness and drowsiness. These substances are also non-renewable oils.

    Through complicated and extensive research, our team has found a cheaper and safer alternative for the traditional commercial ink. By just replacing the main components which are toxic and harmful substances with organic compounds, we have made the product less toxic and environment-friendly. And because of incompatibility of tannin with heavy metals and toxic substances, it will be unable to mix with tannin. Thus, the production of tannin ink by our team can guarantee a toxic-free and an environment-friendly product that will soon boost the ink industry in the Philippines.

    The objectives of our Science Investigatory Project are the following: to produce economic friendly and high-quality ink;
    to introduce new ways to produce ink; and
    to find ways to fully utilize the use of avocado seeds by using it as a major component of ink.


    Nowadays, the government of the Philippines is implementing laws that will help to preserve our nature. People usually think that the things that are biodegradable can’t be useful anymore. But they’re wrong. One of this is the avocado seed as ink.

    The group decided to use an avocado seed because according to research, avocado seeds contain 13% tannin, which is responsible for the reddish appearance of the avocado seed when exposed to air. Since in the modern times chemically made ink is used in writing, we also decided to make ink out of organic materials which can avoid harmful effects to nature.

    The group found out that this process is first discovered by the Spaniards when they were in the Philippines. They found out that avocado seeds contain tannin which produces ink when cut, and exposed to air. The avocado seed secretes a milky fluid which acts as the ink when exposed to air. We also found out that a simple cut in the seed will not produce the ink, but we need to really dissect he seeds in order for the ink to release.

    This will contribute well on the modern days because instead of using chemically made ink, we can use organic material instead. And since we usually throw avocado seeds when we eat avocado, we can eventually find something useful in avocado seeds. All we need to do is to follow simple steps that could save and preserve nature. This way, we could help save nature and Earth as well.

    This study aims to answer:
    How can we produce economic friendly ink from natural resources that contains tannin?

    If we could use the tannin found in the seeds of the avocado fruit as primary medium or ingredients of ink, then we could produce a cheaper ink.

    This study aims to introduce the use of organic products in the industrial world. Using natural ingredients in exchange for commercially used products such as dyes so that these substances on more important products.

    This study revolves mostly on avocado seeds. The extraction of the seed’s fluids requires a laboratory apparatus.

    Avocado – roughly pear shaped greenish or purple and provides a rich source of digestible fats and proteins.
    Tannin – any of various soluble astringent complex substances of plant
    Phosphoric Acid – a colorless, crystalline bitter acid
    Xylene – toxic flammable oily isomeric aromatic hydrocarbons
    Dissect – to cut open in order to display and examine the parts of a plant or animal
    Dye – a substance capable of coloring materials

    A. Related Literature
    Many ancient cultures around the world have independently discovered and formulated inks for the purposes of writing and drawing. Their recipes and the techniques for their production of ink come from an archaeological analysis or from written text itself. The history of Chinese inks can be traced back to the 23rd century BC, with the utilization of natural plant, animal and mineral inks based on such materials as graphite that were ground with water and applied with ink brushes. The best inks for drawing or painting on paper or silk are produced from the resin of pine tree. It must be between 50 and 100 years old. The Chinese ink stick is produced with fish glue; where as Japanese glue is from cow or stag. The Indian ink was made of burnt bones, tar, pitch and other substances.

    About 1600 years ago, a popular ink recipe was created and it was used for centuries. Iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate, were mixed with tannin from gallnuts and a thickener. When first put to paper, this ink is bluish-black and fades to dull brown.

    Scribes in medieval Europe wrote principally on parchment or vellum. On the 12th century, ink recipe for hawthorn branches to be cut in the spring and left to dry. Then the bark was pounded from the branches and soaked in water for eight days. The water was bailed until it thickened and turned black then wine is added. The ink was poured into special bags and hung in the sun. Once dried, the mixture was mixed with wine and iron salt over a fire to make the final ink.

    In the 15th century, a new type of ink was developed in Europe for the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. Two types of ink were prevalent at that time. The Greek and Roman writing ink and the 12th century variety composed of ferrous sulfate, gall, gumand water. Neither of these handwriting inks could adhere to printing surfaces without creating blurs. Eventually, an oily varnish-like ink made of soot, turpentine and wallnut oil was created specifically for the printing press.

    The two most used black writing inks in history are carbon inks and iron gall inks. Both types create problems for preservationists. Carbon inks were commonly made from lampblack or soot and a binding agent such as gum arabic or animal glue. The binding agent keeps the carbon particles in suspension and adhered to paper. The carbon particles do not fade over time even when in sunlight or when bleached. Ink is not harmful to the paper; the ink is chemically stable and therefore does not threaten the strength of the paper. However, carbon ink is not ideal for permanence and ease of preservation. Carbon ink has a tendency to smudge in humid environments and can be washed off a surface. The best method of preserving a document written in carbon ink is to ensure it is stored in a dry environment. Iron gall inks became prominent in the early 12th century; they were used for centuries and were widely thought to be the best type of ink. However, iron gall ink is corrosive and damages the paper. Items containing this ink can be brittle and the writing fades to brown. Reference:
    Christian Science Monitor Article by Sharon J. Huntington
    B. Related Studies
    Tannin (also known as vegetable tannin, natural organic tannins or sometimes tannoid, i.e. a type of biomelecule, as opposed to modern synthetic tannin) is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids

    Iron Gall Ink
    Iron gall ink (also known as iron gall nut or oak gall ink) is a purple-black or brown-blank ink made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. It was the standard writing and drawing ink in Europe, from about the 5th century to the 19th century, and remained in use well into the 20th century. By mixing tannin with iron sulfate, a water-soluble ferrous tannate complex is formed. Because of its solubility, the ink is able to penetrate the paper sulfate, making it difficult to erase. When exposed to oxygen a ferric tannate pigment is formed. This complex is not water-soluble, contributing to its permanence as a writing ink.

    The ink industry in the Philippines is so diverse. Suppliers and products have no uniformity in their ingredients in inks.

    A. Methodology Flow Chart

    B. Experimental Procedure
    B. Materials
    Avocado seeds
    Mortar and pestle
    Ethanol alcohol

    C. Procedure:
    1. Prepare all the materials needed
    2. Pound the avocado seed
    3. Boil the powdered seeds with a specific amount of vinegar, alcohol, and water gel solution (agar) 4. Let the solution cool for about 5 minutes
    5. Strain it with the cheesecloth o remove the excess solid particles that were left TRIALS
    SEEDS (g)
    VINEGAR (mL)
    WATER GEL (mL)
    Alcohol (mL)
    Trial 1
    Light brown
    Smells like powdered avocado seed
    Appears like soy sauce

    Smells like powdered avocado seed
    Slightly resembles ink
    Trial 2

    The researchers therefore conclude that Avocado seeds are feasible or effective in making ink. Also, trial 2 is proved to be the best set-up among the others Recommendation
    The researchers would like to recommend finding other seeds as the main ingredient in making inks.

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