The aim is to develop and test user- friendly chemical characterization methods for natural product raw materials in order to produce proof of quality for natural products as premium authentic raw materials before and after drying.

Commercial natural products on global markets usually include quality data such as specifications for valuable components (e.g. flavonoids in birch leaves), impurities, minerals. There can be a lot of variation in the quality of natural raw materials due to many reasons such as weather conditions/climate change, storage and handling conditions and varying lengths of growing seasons. Natural products from Nordic countries are often highly valued since they are regarded as authentic and reliable. However, these properties should be proven by quality testing. If testing is not widely available and affordable for SME`s it will remain as one of the bottle necks when the aim is to increase production volumes and export of Nordic natural products. In addition to quality assurance for purchasing agents, enterprises can prove their products to be premium quality with the help of the developed characterization methods.

In many cases specifications for the raw materials should first be developed and this could be done if the quality properties are known exactly. Quality data can be achieved by laboratory measurements. Universities have developed methods for monitoring raw material quality but these methods cannot always be directly applied by enterprises or those are too time consuming and/or expensive and therefor it is important to develop methods which can be utilized by enterprises. SME`s interested in developing novel natural products will also need  commercial analytical chemistry services for characterization of products, e.g. composition and concentration of effective compounds, concentrations of impurities, determinations of specifications for active compounds.

The selected plants will be characterized by e.g. using HPLC and UV-spectroscopy methods which are available in the literature. The characterization methods will first be tested. The effects of the drying processes on the quality of the plant materials will be tested at Centria before and after drying.

 


   
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