"Los ladrillos en la pared vegetal" photo selected for FOTCIENCIA16 by Marta Martínez Sanz

The photograph Los ladrillos en la pared vegetal by Marta Martínez Sanz, from the Department of Conservation and Food Safety of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA), has been selected among the 700 proposals submitted to the competition.

Title: The bricks in the vegetal wall

Author: Marta Martínez Sanz

The photograph shows a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrograph of the cell wall structure of the stem of the Arundo donax plant, better known as common reed. This plant is considered an invasive species that grows abundantly in the humid areas of the Mediterranean basin. Currently, this plant is removed from ecosystems in which it may represent a danger to other native plant species and the waste generated is burned. In our research group we are using this waste to generate biodegradable food packaging materials. In the photograph you can see how the cell walls that make up the stem are forming orderly structures, so that they resemble piled bricks. This orderly structure gives the plant excellent mechanical properties and great resistance to external agents.

Hitachi S-4800 TOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT, 10 kV voltage and 8-16 mm working distance.

David Talens of the Food Biotechnology Department of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA), has also been selected for the work Petit Bouquet.

In this competition, organised by CSIC and FECYT, IATA collaborates each year by awarding a prize in the Food category.

In this link you can find the complete catalogue of FOTCIENCIA16.