The Network Project on Harvesting, Processing
and Value Addition on Natural Resins and Gums was launched on 9th
February, 2009 to carry out the location-specific and multidisciplinary
research on different aspects of resins and gums. All the natural resins
are of vegetable origin with the exception of lac and similar insect
exudations which harden on exposure to air. Natural gums come out as
exudates from the trunk of gum producing tree as a response to injury.
Gums are also extracted from seeds, seed coats, micro-organisms etc.
Indonesia, India and China are among the World's major producers of gums
and resins. India is major exporter of lac, guar, karaya, asafoetida and
importer of rosins, gum-arabic, asafoetida and olibanum.
Resins are largely used in surface coating
formulations for several applications like wood furniture polishes/
varnishes, paints, lacquers, food and pharmaceuticals, adhesives,
insulations, cosmetics, handicrafts, jewelry etc. Some of the resins like
lac are very good source of several bio-active compounds of various uses.
The gums and gum-resins are mostly used in food (thickening/ gelling
agents, stabilizers, emulsifiers), pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles
and chemical industries. In several application areas there are no
substitutes for these natural products while in some synthetic
alternatives are available and used. In recent years, due to back to the
nature trend there has been a revival of interest in natural resins and
gums extracted from forests by rural and tribal people who depend on these
resources to sustain their livelihood. Two-fold increase in demand is
expected due to realization for eco-friendly and safe natural materials
for human contact and consumption. Keeping in view the immense potential
of these natural, non-toxic and bio-degradable products of social,
livelihood and industrial importance, the ICAR decided to include these as
part of the regular research programmes at Indian Institute of Natural
Resins and Gums, Ranchi.
In order to address the harvesting,
processing and value addition of region-specific gums and resins, an
outreach programme in a Network mode was sanctioned during XI Plan with
IINRG, Ranchi as lead center and six other Network co-operating centers.
The Network project in XI Plan covered the aspects of harvesting/tapping,
processing and value addition of three gums (Guar Gum, Karaya Gum and Gum
Arabic), one resin (Pine resin) and one gum resin (Guggul).
Apart from these gums and resins covered
under the Network Project during XIth Plan, there are other gums and
resins of commercial importance which need R&D attention. Hence three more
Centers on Tamarind seed gum, Dammar and Pinus kesia resin has been
included in the project in XII Plan