Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2017
Publication Date: 1/1/2018
Citation: Sarker, M.I., Long III, W., Liu, C. 2018. Preservation of bovine hide using less salt with low concentration of antiseptic, part I: effectiveness of developed formulations. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 113(1):12-18.
Interpretive Summary: Raw hides need to be preserved for some time before they are converted into leather in tanning industries. Wet salting using table salts provides an inexpensive and efficient way to preserve hides and skins, but also presents a dilemma in terms of effluent treatment for both the hide processor and tanner. It employs salt weighing approximately half of the hide or 95% saturation of brine solution to preserve hides. The excess salt has to be removed from the hide and consequently generates a pollution problem by increasing salinity of the soil which leads to barren environments. The primary objective of this study is to find economical ways to alleviate the pollution problem caused by the disposal of the large quantities of salt used in conventional curing procedures. For the preservation of hides it is essential to arrest microbial attack on hides as the main constituent of raw hide is protein which is very susceptible for bacterial degradation. ARS scientists at Wyndmoor, PA have developed formulations for hide preservation where 45% saturation of brine solution is used. The newly developed formulations have been found more effective in limiting microbial growth for a longer time on cured skin than the regular brine process and thus preserve hides for more than 30 days.
Technical Abstract: Bovine raw hides are commercially cured either with high salt concentration of about half the weight of actual hide or 95% saturated brine solution. This conventional technique is very popular due to the availability of common salt (sodium chloride) and its cost effective procedure but it generates a huge pollution problem increasing salinity. As a result, an alternative method of using less or no salt for hide preservation needs to be developed. For the preservation of hide it is essential to arrest microbial attack on hide as the main constituent of raw hide is protein which is very susceptible for bacterial degradation. Such bacterial degradation leads to the putrefaction of raw hide before converting them into leather. We have developed antiseptic based formulations for hide curing where only 45% saturated brine solution is used. The newly developed formulations have been found more effective in limiting microbial growth for a longer time on cured skin than the regular brine process and thus preserve hides for more than 30 days. In-process analysis of cured hides during storage period reveals the compatibility of the alternative curing process in comparison to the traditional method. Therefore, this new development will not only preserve hides through better protection from microorganisms but also offer better conservation of the environment.