Kerala Agriculture University launches research project on Public-Private Partnership mode with Arjuna Natural Extracts Ltd.

The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has launched a project on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with private sector Arjuna Natural Extracts Limited for a project, Metabolome analysis in ginger and product development using gingerol.

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Industrial feasibility

KAU Vice Chancellor P Rajendran said the project was intended to take research findings to the industry. “Ginger has been used from time immemorial for therapeutic use. The KAU has developed several ginger varieties having high gingerol content. Gingerol being a pharmacologically important component in ginger with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, gastro-protective, cardiotonic and anti-hepatotoxic qualities, these KAU varieties are very useful in development of medicines with organic base” he added.

T R Gopalakrishnan, Director of Research, said the project proposed under the PPP mode was funded by the Biotechnology Industry Research Council of the Union Department of Biotechnology. The project will be jointly implemented by the Center for Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology of KAU and the Arjuna Natural Extracts Limited, an ISO 9001 and 22000 Company.

The duration of the project is expected to be three years. The total outlay was ₹1.48 crore, he said. Dr.Benny Antony, Founder Director, Arjuna Natural Extracts Limited, said that gingerol content was a vital parameter in production of ginger-based medicinal preparations, but its international market remained largely untapped because of the low gingerol content in traditional cultivars and poor gingerol stability issues.

“The novel ginger cultivars of KAU with high gingerol content will help commercialise quality guaranteed stable ginger extract by developing a ginger extract powder with at least 6 per cent gingerol content. The project will develop methods to increase the stability of gingerols in the product, identify and purify individual gingerols, and establish the safety of the standardised ginger extract. We had earlier collaborated with research institutions in the U.S, Japan and Australia,” he added.

Boon to farmers

M R Shylaja, professor, who detected the industrial feasibility of new ginger varieties with high gingerol content developed by her, said this project would be a boon to ginger farmers as it would lead to ensuring buy-back guarantee at fair price.

E K Mathew, Registrar, Joy Mathew, Comptroller, E V Nybe, Academic Director, P K Valsalakumari, Associate Dean and P A Valsala also gave their comments.

(This article was published in The Hindu on August 19, 2014)

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