• Plant Resins
    And Analysis


Resins are complex mixtures of organic compounds produced by a wide variety of plants, especially trees. They are typically composed of volatile and non-volatile hydrocarbon compounds, primarily terpenes and their oxidation products.

Resins have several functions in plants, listed below:
  • Protective Role - They act as a protective barrier against insects and other herbivores. When a plant is damaged, the resin can form a seal over the wound to prevent insect invasion and infection by microbial pathogens.
  • Healing Mechanism - Resins can aid the healing process after physical damage. They form a protective layer over wounds, preventing further injury and helping the plant repair itself.
  • Detoxification Process - Some plants produce resins to isolate and compartmentalize toxic metabolic byproducts.

Resins are most commonly associated with coniferous trees (like pines and firs), but they are also found in some flowering plants. They have been used by humans for thousands of years in various applications, including:
  • Medicine - Some plant resins have antimicrobial properties and have been used in traditional medicine. For example, the resin from the Boswellia tree (frankincense) has been used for its potential anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
  • Industry - Resins are used in a wide range of industrial applications, including the production of varnishes, adhesives, and sealing waxes.
  • Perfumery - Some plant resins, like frankincense and myrrh, are used in the production of perfumes due to their aromatic properties.
  • Food and Drink - Some resins are used in food and drink. For example, mastic resin from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) is used in the production of chewing gum, bakery products, and certain liqueurs.

Resins in Different Types of Biomass


Examples of some flowers where resins are found are listed below:
  • Poppy - Some poppy species produce a latex that is rich in alkaloids, which can be considered a form of resin. The most famous is the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), whose latex contains morphine, codeine, and other alkaloids used in medicine.
  • Dahlia - Some species and cultivars of dahlia produce a resin in their flowers that has been used in traditional medicine.
  • Marigold - Marigold flowers contain resinous substances that have been used in traditional medicine for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Sunflower - Sunflower capitula (the part of the flower where the seeds develop) contain a resin that has been used in traditional medicine.
  • Asteraceae Family - Many plants in the Asteraceae family produce a resinous substance in their flowers and other tissues. Some of these resins have been used in traditional medicine or as bases for fragrances.

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Examples of some common resins found in barks are provided below:
  • Pine Bark Resin - The resin has been used for a wide range of purposes, from making varnish and adhesives to treating wounds in traditional medicine.
  • Spruce Bark Resin - Has been used in traditional medicine for its antimicrobial properties and it is also used in the manufacture of certain products like varnishes and adhesives.
  • Frankincense - This resin comes from the bark of trees in the Boswellia genus. It has been used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies, and it is also prized for its potential anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
  • Myrrh - Like frankincense, myrrh is a resin that is harvested from the bark of trees, specifically those in the Commiphora genus. Myrrh has been used in traditional medicine, as well as in perfumery and religious ceremonies.
  • Gum Arabic - This resin comes from the bark of the Acacia senegal tree and other species in the Acacia genus. Gum arabic is used in the food industry as a stabilizer, in the production of inks, and in traditional medicine.
  • Copal - This is a term used for the aromatic resins produced by a number of different trees, and it can be harvested from the bark. Copal has been used in the production of varnishes and in traditional medicine.
  • Mastic - This resin is produced by the bark of the Pistacia lentiscus tree. It is used in the production of chewing gum, in cooking, and in traditional medicine.
  • Balsam Fir Resin - The balsam fir tree (Abies balsamea) produces a resin that is used in traditional medicine, as well as in the manufacture of glues and varnishes.

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Extraction of Sterols from Biomass

The extraction process, including the solvents and methods used, can influence the concentration and types of sterols present in the final extract. It is often the case that a balance needs to be found between fully-extracting all sterols while also ensuring that the compounds that are obtained are of a high quality and not degraded.

At Celignis we have extensive experience in the design and optimisation of extraction protocols for a wide variety of chemical constituents from many different biomass types. If needed we can also work on processes to separate and purify the target compounds.

Click here to read more about Celignis's Bioprocess Development Services for the extraction of chemicals from biomass.

Get more info...Biomass Extractions

Analysis of Sterols at Celignis

We have the necessary equipment and expertise to determine the amount and distribution of sterols in a wide variety of biomass samples.

Feel free to get in touch with us to request further information and a quotation.

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