Natural Product

Essential Oils / Natural Products and Analytical Services

Executed tests on 100 local plants used in traditional medicine and was able to isolate anti-oxidant activity specific to treatment of various ailments.

SRC devised a method of determining anti-inflammatory activity of natural and synthetic compounds. This serves as a means of preventing animals from being used in experiments.

Research to Impact Health & Wellness – SRC supporting local nutraceutical industry by executing research; training of entrepreneurs; and developing value added food and personal care products.

The Natural Products Unit administered dibenzyl trisulphide (extract from Guinea Hen Weed) orally in old mice and discovered that it caused significant increase in thymic weight. The thymus is an immune organ that regulates the development of disease in the human body as it ages. This work has implications for treatment of diseases associated with aging. Guinea Hen Weed is also known for its anti-cancer properties.

Conducted Research Activities to increase yield of legume crops:–

Nitrogen Fixation – can allow up to 50% increase in yield of legume, crops (notably red peas).

Potassium improved the growth and nodulation of red peas. Addition of phosphate and potassium yielded a 23% increase in red peas per hectare.

Other R&D Activities include:

Development of an efficient process for the production of ginger oleoresin, the essential ingredient in ginger flavour.

Isolating naringin, the bitter principle of grapefruit.  Synthesized naringin dehydrochalcone (100 times sweeter than sugar).

Development of a process for the isolation of pectin from lime peel.  Pectin is used as thickening agent in food.

Preparation of furfural from bagasse, coconut-shell and coffee husks.  Furfural is a fine chemical for agricultural pesticides, plastics as well as refinery chemical for lubricating oils.

Castor Oil – preparation of sebacic acid, food flavouring, plasticizer and perfumery chemicals from castor oil.

Prepared modified cassava starch for application in baby foods and sauces. Modified cassava is easily digested.

Food Colouring– Developed procedure for extracting the colouring principle (bixin) from annatto (food colouring and antioxidant).  Renders annatto more useable as colouring matter for foods.

Developed synthesized carvone – a peppermint flavoured chemical – from limonene, a chemical from citrus oils.  Carvone is utilized in the flavouring of liqueurs, candles and toothpaste.

Prepared biodegradable sucrose esters for detergent purposes.  Esters help particles to stick together.

Developed and commercialized sun tan lotion using local oils.

 1983 Devised means of making Invert Sugar that was previously imported by Electric Arc Jamaica Ltd., for use in the production of welding rods. Saved expenditure of scarce foreign exchange.
 1987 –

1993

 Isolated insecticides/pesticides from local plants for commercial use against ticks and fleas.
 1984  Rat Bait Developed. SRC in collaboration with Storage and Infestation Division developed rat bait, made in cake form, utilizing relatively new compound. The bait is suitable for homes, warehouses and fields and can withstand any climatic condition. Commercialized in 1989.

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