Food & Beverage News

Chemical Fingerprinting of Botanical Materials – A Case Study

Lemongrass

There are several ways of identifying plant materials used in the manufacture of extracts for use in food & beverage as well as pharmaceutical related products. Most of these methods stem from the early apothecaries of the middle ages to the Nineteenth Century when herbal medicine was the only viable means of primary healthcare. Raw materials would be compared to physical descriptions of the plant in question but as technology advanced many pharmacopoeias introduced both macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, as well as simple wet chemical tests of preparations made from the plant materials.

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Hibiscus Flower Soft Extract

Hibiscus Flower Soft Extract

Made from crimson-red hibiscus flowers, this newly developed extract delivers great natural taste in a wide range of beverage applications including carbonated soft drinks, cordials and alcoholic beverages such as cider and liqueurs.

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Pharmaceutical and Healthcare News

Plant of the Month: August 2014 Quassia

Quassia

Quassia which is also known as Bitter Wood or Jamaican Quassia generally refers to two plants that are members of the Simaroubaceae family, namely Picrasma excelsa (Sw.) Planch. and Quassia amara (L.). P. excelsa is native to the West Indies, more particularly it is found in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela. On the other hand Q. amara is native to tropical South America. The name quassia lends itself to a former slave from Surinam, Graman Quassia, who in the Eighteenth Century discovered the medicinal properties of the bark of Quassia amara.

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Plant of the Month: July 2014 Squill

Squill (Drimia maritima (L.) )

Squill is a common name for a group of plants that are lily like and are members of the Asparagaceae family. The Squill of commerce comprises two main species namely Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn also known as Urginea maritima and commonly known as maritime squill, sea onion or red squill and Drimia indica (Roxb.) Jessop which is commonly known as Indian squill. Maritime squill is native to coastal areas of the Mediterranean and is found growing wild in France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Algeria and Morocco, at up to 300 m above sea level. It is also found in the Canary Islands and Southern Iran and Iraq. Drimia indica has a distribution from tropical and South Africa, the Indian subcontinent and eastwards to Vietnam.

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Plant of the Month: June 2014 Ipecac

Ipecac

Ransom Naturals Ltd produces two main herbal drug preparations containing Ipecacuanha root. These are IP/06 – Ipecacuanha Liquid Extract BP and IP/19 – Ipecacuanha Tincture BP 1999. Both these products are respectively standardised to contain about 8.0% and 2.0% total alkaloids expressed as emetine. Cephaelis ipecacuanha more commonly known as Ipecacuanha, Ipecac, Rio, Matto Grosso or Brazilian Ipecac is a plant native to tropical South and Central America. The plant is a member of the Rubiaceae family and has a slender stem which grows partly underground and is often procumbent at the base, the lower portion being knotted. It tends to favour a moist shady wooded habitat where it can be found growing in clumps.

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