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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Sep 2005

Anti-cancer drug|Vincristine|MTA|PTA|Vanilla|Indian herbal industry
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
ANTI CANCER DRUG FROM NATURAL PRODUCTS PART II: VINCRISTINE
FOCUS ON ENERGY ISSUES
MTA – ALTERNATIVE TO PTA
VANILLA – GLOBAL SCENARIO AND INDIAN EFFORTS
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

INDIAN HERBAL INDUSTRY AT CROSS ROADS

This scenario should cause disappointment to the Indian herbal enthusiasts, who have hailed the herbal drugs for its potential to enter the international market in a big way. While it is reported that the health ministry of Government of India has sought more details from Canada, the Indian herbal industry should meet the challenge on scientific lines without reacting in an emotional manner, as if the move by a few developed western countries would amount to challenge the Indian traditional knowledge and practices.

In several seminars and symposiums in recent times in India , many ministers, bureaucrats and herbal enthusiasts have spoken about the Indian herbs becoming a money spinner in the global market. The recent developments in Canada and UK could indicate that such expectations are far fetched in the immediate future. 

Greater focus on research and development to offer scientific explanation in tune with the times for the traditional medicinal practices in India based on herbs, development of testing and certification procedures and taking up clinical trials in a big way are vitally important, if ayurvedic/herbal drugs should become internationally acceptable.

The herbal industry consist of several players like agriculturists, technologists to set up and operate extraction plants, formulators for formulating the herbal extracts into drugs, certification agencies , clinical trial organizations, medical practitioners, research and development agencies, market research and promotion organizations etc. All such players have to optimally put their heads together and coordinate their efforts to overcome the challenge.

Unfortunately, the herbal industry in India still largely remains as a traditional knowledge area and has not yet been refined to meet the expectations of the discerning consumers of the modern era. While packaging technology have improved and organic farming are being talked about and implemented to a little extent, these measures by itself are not adequate to catch the market to the level of the potentials.

While developed countries like Canada and United Kingdom have decided to subject the Indian herbal drugs to strict scrutiny, the truth is that such herbal drugs are still not widely accepted even in India itself. The main problem is the lack of confidence of the modern medical professionals themselves as well as the consumers in the traditional ayurvedic drugs , in view of the manner in which they are prepared , recommended and administered today.

The claims of the efficacy of the drugs are based almost entirely on the traditional experience of the country and not based on scientific evaluation to the extent required . Apart from such establishment of efficacy in a convincing way, it is necessary to improve the agricultural and technical production technology and shop floor operating conditions.

The fact is that every herb contains large level of chemical elements and only a few of such elements have medicinal applications. The other elements in the herb may have no action or even negative action, which have not been adequately evaluated.

Further, depending upon the soil conditions, climatic conditions, application of agri inputs and cultivation practices, the chemical content of the herbs can vary from one area of cultivation to another area. Agricultural management practices for herbal cultivation are yet to be evolved to the level of perfection to ensure uniformity in the chemical content of the herbs grown in all regions. In the case of agri products like rice or wheat , marginal variation in starch content or other ingredients from one place of cultivation to the other would not be noticed by the consumer. But, in the case of herbal drugs , such level of chemical constituent in the herbs grown is a matter of utmost importance. Further, the analysis of the herbs to identify all the chemical constituents (which sometime exceed one hundred ) is virtually impossible on regular basis, in view of the time and cost factors involved.

Such issues have to be addressed earnestly by the Indian herbal scientists and technologists. The action of the governments of Canada and UK should be considered as a well timed and well intentioned caution by the Indian herbal industry and it should react in a positive and dynamic manner to the situation.

ANTI CANCER DRUG FROM NATURAL PRODUCTS PART II: VINCRISTINE

Today, over 60 percent of the current anticancer drugs are derived in one way or another from natural sources.

This article discusses the following aspects:

  • Introduction
  • Product characteristics
  • Alternate Indian Names
  • Application
  • Cultivation practices and yield
  • Soil
  • Rain
  • Propagation
  • Harvesting
  • Yield
  • Annual exports
  • Indian Industry Status
  • Area of cultivation
  • Important formulators of Vincristine
  • Present Use Pattern in the world
  • Indian Demand
  • Production
  • Source of Technology
FOCUS ON ENERGY ISSUES

This article discusses the following aspects:

  • FUEL CRISIS AND THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
  • ALTERNATIVE FUEL HUNT
  • GAS HYDRATE-AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE-FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
  • PROFILE ON BIOGAS
  • WAVE ENERGY PROJECT IN PORTUGAL
  • BIOFUEL DEVELOPMENTS
  • CARBON CREDITS
  • DEVELOPMENTS IN THE COAL FRONT
  • GOVERNMENT POLICY INITIATIVE
  • POWER SECTOR
  • LNG PRICE
  • FUTURISTIC ENERGY SCENARIO-AWARD WINNING STUDY
MTA – ALTERNATIVE TO PTA

Though blessed with high growth rates globally, the polyester resin industry faces escalating raw material prices and reduced profit margins. In addition, owing to relative ease of entry, new capacity continues to come on stream, further threatening existing producers. Concurrently with these trends, several important technology and commercial developments have recently emerged -- or are about to emerge -- that may change the landscape of the industry.

MTA, also known as qualified terephthalic acid (QTA) or Eastman proprietary terephthalic acid (EPTA), is now making strong inroads into polyester markets

VANILLA – GLOBAL SCENARIO AND INDIAN EFFORTS

If reports from various vanilla growing countries and overseas markets are any indication, production of this high value crop is estimated to be far more than the anticipated demand, signalling further drop in prices.

OTHER STORIES

CATALYTIC TECHNOLOGIES OFFERED BY SUD-CHEMIE GROUP

Sud-Chemie Group (Munich, Germany) is a worldwide leading supplier of catalysts, adsorbents and additives. From current sales of approximately e862 million, the 148 year old German group aism to reach a turnover of e 1.2 billion by the end of the decade.

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL: ETHYLENE CARBONATE

This article discusses the application aspects and process technology as well as Indian import/export trends for Ethylene Carbonate

NOVEL CATALYSTS – RECENT GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS 

The emergence of novel technology approaches to catalysts, including the application on nanotechnology, is leading to the development of catalyst systems with improved performance. Companies including Haldor Topsoe, Reaxa (Manchester, U.K.), Rhodia and catalyst R & D firms Avantium Technologies (Amsterdam) and HTE (Heidelberg, Germany) are all working on novel technologies.

PROCESS INTENSIFYING EQUIPMENTS

During the past decades many new developments have occurred in the process industry from end-of-pipe technology to integrated, environmentally friendly technology and clean technology. Engineers at many universities and industrial research centers are working on novel equipments and techniques that potentially could transform our concept of chemical plants and lead to compact, safe, energy-efficient and environment-friendly sustainable processes. These developments share a common focus on “process intensification”- an approach that has been around for quite some time but has truly emerged only in the past few years as a special and interesting discipline of chemical engineering.

OTHER ARTICLES
  • Reader’s forum
  • Methanol-Based Complex in Iran
  • Global Ethylene Scenario
  • Process Flow – Paraxylene
  • Low Cost Method for Propylene Oxide Production
  • Anthurium Flower
  • Update on GM Crops
  • Health Aspects of Palm Oil – Findings of the Scientists
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Certification Issues
  • Update on Nano Technology
  • Safety & Accident Page
  • Technology Development-India/International
  • News Round Up-International
  • Environmental Page- India/International
  • Agro Chemical Page - India/International
  • Pharma Page - India/International
  • Price Trends- India/International
  • Magnesium and Tin Industry in China
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code-Part XXXV
  • New Projects – International
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXXI
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of May 2005
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of June 2005
  • Book Review
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