A Cleaner Process for Short-Term Preservation of Hides using Wheat Bran

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Josep M. Morera
Esther Bartolí
Rafael Fernández
Luisa F. Cabeza


Salting is the most common method to preserve hides and skins. However, this preservation system requires the generation of large amounts of contaminated salt, approximately three million tons per year. In recent years several researchers have suggested different methods for the short-term preservation of hides using plant-based formulations, which either minimize or even completely eliminate the use of salt in the process. In this work, the possibility of using wheat bran for this purpose was studied. Two methods of application (dry and aqueous solution) have been developed. They enable the preservation of hides for one month, reducing by half the salt used in the preservation stage without undermining the quality of the final leather. These two methods contribute to the improvement of the overall sustainability of the tanning process.

With dry application, the use of salt is avoided and preservation occurs because the hide is dried. The application in aqueous solution (10% wheat bran) requires its previous hydrolysis and a minimum amount of salt (10ºBé). The preservation occurs because the acidity of the hide is increased.

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