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Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums
(Formerly Indian Lac Research Institute)
Namkum, Ranchi - 834 010

Estd : September 20, 1924



Natural Resin

Natural Gums

Natural Gum Resins


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About Natural Resins & Gums

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  General Information (Ebook on Natural Resins & Gums of commercial importance - At a glance)

Resin is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. It is valued for its chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials for organic synthesis; and as constituents of incense and perfume. In perfumery such products are often termed "ambered", based on fossilized resins being the source of the gemstone amber. Resins are also a material in nail polish. The term also encompasses synthetic substances of similar properties, as well as shellacs of insects of the superfamily Coccoidea. Resins have a very long history that is documented in ancient Greece Theophrastus, ancient Rome Pliny the Elder, and especially as the forms known as frankincense and myrrh in ancient Egypt. They were highly prized substances, and required as incense in religious rites. There is no consensus on why plants secrete resins. However, resins consist primarily of secondary metabolites or compounds that apparently play no role in the primary physiology of a plant. While some scientists view resins only as waste products, their protective benefits to the plant are widely documented. The toxic resinous compounds may confound a wide range of herbivores, insects, and pathogens; while the volatile phenolic compounds may attract benefactors such as parasitoids or predators of the herbivores that attack the plant.

Natural gums are polysaccharides of natural origin, capable of causing a large viscosity increase in solution, even at small concentrations. In the food industry they are used as thickening agents, gelling agents, emulsifying agents and stabilizers. In other industries, they are also used as adhesives, binding agents, crystallization inhibitors, clarifying agents, encapsulating agents, flocculating agents, swelling agents, foam stabilizers, etc. Most often these gums are found in the woody elements of plants or in seed coatings. Natural gums can be classified according to their origin. They can also be classified as uncharged or ionic polymers (polyelectrolytes).

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