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Natural Resources – Natural Colorants - Phase I


Title of Project:
Study of species in the Bolivian Altiplano with potential application as dyes for their chemical-biological and economic assessment – Phase I.

Sandra Ibáñez-Calero, PhD
E-mail: sandraibanez@lp.upb.edu

Kelly Loayza Afonso, Ing. Mgr.

Studies on natural dyes have rebounded during the last years due to the toxicity shown in the synthetic derivatives.  Nature provides a great variety of species with possible dying uses, finding plants, animals, insects, bacteria and color soils with important applications.  In our country, rich in vegetal and animal biodiversity, only certain species are used as natural dyes following traditional extraction and coloring techniques.  The Phytochemical Research Center, following the guidelines already drawn within the Natural Dyes Program, seeks to validate colored species studying their photo protector, antioxidant and coloring powers.  The project:  Study of Species in the Bolivian Highlands (Altiplano) with Potential Application as Dyes for it Chemical-Biological and Economic Appraisal is divided in two parts or phases, one based on chemical works and the other in biological ones.  In the chemical study (first phase of the project), the possible metabolites responsible of color in the studied species were characterized and the colored species that can absorb UV-A and/or UV-B radiation were identified.  This initial phase of the project was finished at the end of August 2015 and species with important photo protector powers and interesting metabolite families were detected.  Among the studied species we highlight  Brachyotum microdon, Monnina bridgesii and Souroubea fragilis for their possible dying applications.  In addition, B. microdon, Rumex acetosella, Fuchsia boliviana, S. fragilis, Orthaea boliviensis, Senecio floccosus and Baccharis pentlandii present important UV absorptions.