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Banana Sap As Natural Ink Essay

Banana (Musa × Paradisiaca) is a very common plant in Malaysia and in the Philippines. Often the banana trunk is thrown away after harvesting the fruit. The waste material is biodegradable. Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the Genus Musa, and is also the name given to the fruit of these plants. It is a native plant found in the tropical region of Southeast Asia, the Malay Archipelago, and Australia. Today, it is cultivated throughout the Tropics. The banana was mentioned for the first time in written history in Buddhist texts in 600 BC. The stalk is the stem of the banana plant. The banana stalk produces one huge flower cluster and then dies.

The stalk is usually cut off the plant when the bananas are plump and ready to ripen. Before it dies, there are a number of things the banana stalk can be used for. The use of banana sap, as a medium for artwork has never been explored in Malaysia. Banana sap is used in other countries such as Indonesia as textile dying and Latin America as Medicinal uses. Banana sap from some parts of the tree contains pigment and dyes, thus not aware of this potential medium is a waste. This material is biodegradable and this research is conducted to test the potential of banana sap as a pigment and dye to be used as an alternative natural ink.


The researchers wish to extend their most sincere appreciation to the following people who helped make this research. They are the people who helped and contributed for the success of this endeavor. To God, for his gift of wisdom and understanding, and for answering our prayers in their times of need. To their Science teacher, Ms. Avrylle Corpuz for teaching the researchers the fundamental of research and investigatory writing and for showing a great deal of patience though at times the researchers tends to be naughty and wild. To their parents and family members, for the unending love and support that they gave. To the observer/respondents, for their integrity and cooperation. And lastly, to all those who were a part of this work, they thanked themselves for being cooperative and hardworking throughout the investigatory project.


Background of the Study

A banana is an edible fruit produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants of the genus Musa. (In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains.) The fruit is variable in size, color and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Along with this edible fruit is saps: extremely sticky and can be used as a practical adhesive. Sap can be obtained from either the pseudostem, the fruit peelings, or from the flesh. Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink nowadays, are used by many people around the world. Nowadays, ink is getting much more expensive.

An average of 22$ (880pesos) per quarter ounce. Ink is mostly made out of comprising solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, particulate matter, and fluorescers. Thus the experiment is all about recycling banana saps and making ink more affordable. There have been many experiments ahead of this. Others have tried using berries beet juice, orange, and many other more. But, these fruits that are used, needs the juice, skin, and the likes. The researchers chose banana because they are using not the fruit itself but the saps. Also, most fruits that are used for the making of the ink. The researchers think that this will help them attain a better quality of life because it will cut down the prices of ink. All these set aside the question on everyone’s mind is: Will this natural ink be as effective as the ink people are using today?

Statement of the Problem

This study determines the effect and practicality of banana sap in making a natural ink. The banana stalk, where the researchers got the banana sap, was biodegradable. It specifically seeks to answer the following question: 1. Will the product really work as an alternative natural ink? 2. Is the natural ink from the banana sap better than the commercial inks? 3. Does the natural ink from the banana sap require a preservative?

Significance of the Study

Nature can provide for everyday needs such as writing ink. Traditional ink sources include flower petals and tree bark, and though fruit sources are less traditional, they also make for useful ink. Berries and cherries, with their high juice content, are ideal for ink making. Unlike other juicy fruits such as watermelons, citrus fruits or peaches, berry and cherry juice are dark enough to show on writing paper. On this study, the researchers chose a banana sap as an alternative natural ink so that they will be able to know and discover other natural alternative inks aside from berries, which is commonly used.

Scope and Limitation

The study of comparing banana sap as a natural ink to a commercial ink is limited only on the use of banana sap, dye and commercial ink. For the study, the researchers just emptied the unused pens or pens that won’t function well. The researchers were also careful in doing this because ink might be harmful if swallowed and it may irritate the eyes. The group will only use banana sap with powdered dye (diluted with water) and an empty invisible pen to perform the study. The researchers will not use any other substance or chemicals as enhancer to the natural ink.


Musa × Paradisiaca and Its Pseudostems

Bananas (Musa × Paradisiaca) are native to tropical Southeast Asia, but have long been cultivated in many countries from Asia to Europe for its fruit and to a lesser extent for its fiber. Banana is commonly mistaken as a tree but it is actually a large perennial flowering herb with leaf sheaths that form trunk-like pseudostems that grows from a corm. Banana can grow up to 7 meters in height that has about 8 – 12 spirally arranged leaves that are up to 2.7 meters long and 0.6 meter wide. Banana sap is among the most sticky and stubborn substances on earth. You will never get it off your clothes, some people say. Banana sap is extremely sticky and can be used as a practical adhesive. Sap can be obtained from the pseudostem, from the fruit peelings, or from the fruit flesh.

Banana Sap as Dye for Fabrics

Banana sap is used as a medium to dye fabrics in Indonesia and Philippines. The color of banana sap is brownish and it’s substance on the fabrics well. Dried banana peel contains 30 to 40% tannin content; it’s used to blacken leather. The ash from the dried peel of bananas and plantains is rich in potash and used for making soap. While that of the burned peel of unripe fruits of certain varieties is used for dyeing. In the Philippines, the Pinatubo Negritos cut off a banana plant close to the ground, make a hollow in the top of the stump, which then fills with watery sap is drank as an emergency thirst quencher. Central Americans obtain the sap of the red banana in the same manner and take it as an aphrodisiac.

Making Berry Inks (Huckleberry, Raspberry, Blackberry and Pokeberry) Ink making is a wonderful way to use up some of the berries that you can forage for outdoors or grow in your garden. With a berry ink, you can do wonderful water washes, use a dip pen and write great letters, or use it for various drawings and sketches. You can also use your ink for spiritual journaling or magical work.

Having an ink you’ve made yourself allows you to be creative while making use of sustainable materials that are locally harvestable. Berries should be ripe (never under-ripe) or slightly over-ripe. Berries that have a nice dark stain when you cut it open are effective. Berry inks are going to be a little more watery and lighter than a traditional synthetic or processed ink.

Banana Sap in Medicine

All parts of the banana plant have medicinal applications because banana sap has the properties of antifungal and antibiotic. Found in the peel and pulp of fully ripe bananas, the antibiotic acts against Mycobacteria .The inside of the peel has anti-septic properties as it can be wrapped directly around wounds or cuts in an emergency. The flowers of banana can be used for treatment in bronchitis and dysentery and on ulcers; cooked flowers are given to diabetics; the astringent plant sap in cases of hysteria, epilepsy, leprosy, fevers, hemorrhages and acute dysentery, however it is also applied on hemorrhoids insect and other stings and bites; young leaves are placed as poultices on burns and other skin afflictions; the astringent ashes of the unripe peel and leaves are taken in dysentery and diarrhea and used for treating malignant ulcers.

The roots are administered in digestive dysentery and other ailments; banana seed mucilage is given in cases of catarrh and diarrhea in India. Banana sap is also used to reduce high blood pressure; serotonin inhibits gastric secretion and stimulates the smooth muscle of the intestines. Alleged hallucinogenic effects of the smoke of burning banana peel have been investigated scientifically and have not been confirmed.

Charcoal Briquettes from Banana Peels

These days there is increased pressure on forests as people cut trees for firewood and other purposes in the last 30 years, for example, Uganda has lost half of her forest cover. Local people are being encouraged to adopt energy saving technologies that put less pressure on natural resources. One example is the use of banana peelings, commonly referred to as banachakol (banana charcoal), to A woman from a group of community workers known as Bakyala Tweyune (“Women in self-help”), responsible to make the banachakol, and the production process for the briquettes.

The technology that will save many trees is started in Lungujja near Kampala, where a woman named Namusoke Immaculate, the founder of Bakyala Tweyune women’s group, has innovated a new method of alternative fuel by turning banana peelings into charcoal briquettes. They just used one-half basin full of fresh banana peelings, a quarter basin of charcoal dust, and a quarter basin of fine sand. They chop the fresh banana peelings into small pieces. Once the banana peelings are chopped, and then mix the three ingredients together – the banana peelings, the charcoal dust and the sand. The demand of the banana briquettes will make people sort banana peelings from garbage in areas where they are thrown.

Conceptual Framework

This study primarily focused on the banana sap as an effective natural ink and to be able to compare the natural ink from commercial ink. The dependent variable is the banana sap while the independent variable is the powdered dye (diluted with water). In this study, the dependent variable is the banana sap (extract) because the researchers extracted it with their materials. The independent variable is the powdered dye because it is pre-manufactured.


Banana sap is extremely sticky and it stains your clothes hideously and immediately. The natural ink from the banana sap will be effective but it will be a little more watery than a processed (commercial) ink and it won’t last long. The product is also natural so it will be removed easily.

Definition of Terms

Musa × paradisiaca – Banana; It is the common name for a fruit and also the herbaceous plants of the genus Musa which produce the commonly eaten fruit Pseudostem- It is a false stem made of the rolled bases of leaves. Mycobacteria- It is a bacterium of a group which includes the causative agents of leprosy and tuberculosis. Banachakol- It is a banana charcoal.

Banana Sap- It is among the most sticky and stubborn substances on earth. You will never get it off your clothes. Tannin- It is a yellowish or brownish bitter-tasting organic substance present in some galls, barks, and other plant tissues, consisting of derivatives of gallic acid. Commercial Ink- Ink that has been used by people these days. Cloth Thread- It is a kind of thin yarn, thin fibers spun together, for textiles and sewing. Musa- It is one of three genera in the family Musaceae; it includes bananas and plantains. Ink- It is a colored fluid or paste used for writing, drawing, printing, or duplicating. Invisible pen- It features invisible ink that can only be revealed using the UV black light in the cap. Rinsable- Capable of being rinsed.


The materials that were used in this study were the banana sap from the banana stalk, container, cloth thread, a casserole, wooden stick that will be used for pounding, powdered dye, water and an empty invisible pen.


A medium sized banana stalk was collected from one of the researcher’s backyard. The empty invisible pen was collected from one of the researchers’ house. The container, cloth thread, casserole and the wooden stick were collected from one of the researchers’ kitchen.


A. Measurement of the Materials Needed

Four (4) table spoons of powdered dye (diluted with water), one (1) invisible pen, and the extract of a medium sized banana stalk.
B. Preparation of the set-up
Four (4) set ups were prepared; set-up one (1) was made up of the preparation and production for the banana sap, set-up (2) was made up for the preparation of the powdered dye, set-up three (3) was made up of the preparation of the empty invisible pen and set-up four (4) was made up of the mixture of the banana sap and the diluted powdered dye.

C. Preparation of the Mixture

The banana sap and the diluted powdered dye were mixed in container, boiled and put inside the invisible pen.
D. Disposal
The non- biodegradable and biodegradable materials that were used were segregated.

Methodology Flow Chart

Preparation of the Materials Needed

Getting the Banana Sap (extract) from the Banana Stalk

Preparation of the Dye (Diluted with Water)

Mixture of the Banana Sap and Dye

Observation of the Finished Product

Disposal of Used Materials

Evaluation and Comparison from a Commercial Ink

The table shows the inks’ effect when used to write on paper. For the natural ink, the researchers chose a black dye (diluted with water) then, mixed with the banana sap extract. From the researchers’ observations and comparisons, the natural ink is more pale in color compared to the commercial ink. From the data above, it clearly states the effectiveness of the natural ink. The researchers chose the banana sap as a mixture with the dye because the its extract is sticky and it stains clothing. Lastly, there are no significant effect to the skin of the researchers who mixed and the banana sap and dye which may be interpreted as allergy or irritation.



Based from the results gathered in the experiments, the researchers conclude that using Banana sap (Musa × Paradisiaca), in the form of a decoction, is an effective alternative natural ink. Banana saps are free and the other materials needed in making the decoction can be easily found in any household. Furthermore, the researchers conclude that the banana sap is environment friendly because it is organic and safe to use for humans because there are no side effects in using it aside from the stickiness of it and it might stain their clothing. Compared to the commercial ink, the natural ink is a little watery and it’s easier to wash off your hands.


Based from the drawn conclusions, the researchers further recommend the following:

a. Conduct more experiment using varied conditions and method of preparation.
b. Use different sub-specie of banana tree.
c. Use applications on different types of paper as ink.
d. Use or add other sticky substances.
e. Conduct an experiment on a longer span of time.


Mimosa Pudica and Its Pseudostems
Landmeier, P., Plants of Eastern Guatemala, December 16, 2012
www.medicalhealthguide.com, What Is Banana, 2011

Banana Sap as Dye for Fabric
Making Berry Inks
Willowcrow, Making Berry Inks (Huckleberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Pokeberry, Etc.), August 29, 2012

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