India Succeeds In Patenting Tamarind
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When India lost the neem patent to multinational companies, it acted as a big jolt resulting in a lot of hue and cry about the slackness in the government policies and strategies. Indian scientists are now more cautious and are turning their attention to patenting various products from plants and trees used traditionally by people for food and medicinal purposes before any other foreign companies can do it.
The scientists at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune have developed a process that can be used to recover value added products from tamarind. After filing for four patents, NCL has been awarded a US patent No. 5,994,533.
Kernel, pulp and seeds are the commonly used parts of tamarind. The pulp contains nearly 13 percent tartaric acid (in the form of a mixture of tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate), five percent pectin and 33 percent sugar. Tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate are used in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry while pectin is used in the food and drug industry as a plant polysaccharide.
All of the above mentioned products come under the category of nutraceuticals – a fast expanding industry worldwide.