This project is included in a research line which aims the development and standardization of dried extracts from medicinal and aromatic plants. All steps involved in the obtaining the vegetable raw material to be used in the preparation of a vegetable drug are investigated, including the plant harvesting, procedures for cleaning of the raw material, drying, stabilization, grinding and granulometric classification of the plant material; development and optimization of extractive processes, concentration of the extractive solution and addition of drying aids to the concentrated extracts and its subsequent drying for the obtainment of technological products (dried extracts and microparticles).Methods for physical and chemical characterization of the dried product and evaluation of its stability during storage are also studied. The obtaining and standardization of vegetable extracts is a complex work, mainly due to the possibility of occurrence of degradation, transformation or losses of bioactive and/or volatile compounds during the processing steps (extraction, concentration of active compounds, drying and storage). Variation in the composition of medicinal and aromatic plant derived products may originate unpredictable consequences in the product quality and efficacy. The use of technological adjuvants (as for example, adsorbents, thickeners and agglomerant aids, emulsifiers, gums, starch and so on), associated to microencapsulation techniques arise as a valuable tool for the reduction of the occurrence of losses of bioactive compounds during the production of dried extracts of medicinal and aromatic plants. In this research, it is planned to study the effect of extraction and drying processes in the obtaining of standardized dried extracts of Bidens pilosa (picão preto). The Bidens pilosa (picão preto) was selected for this study based on its ethnopharmacological data. The Bidens pilosa is also included in the Relação Nacional de Plantas Medicinais de Interesse ao SUS (Renisus). Three distincts drying methods will be evaluated comparatively: spray drying (or drying by atomization), spouted bed bed and the liophilization; evaluating the physical and chemical properties (concentration of markers or bioactive substances, flowability, size, color, etc), and biological activity (antimicrobial and antioxidant). This project agrees with the guidelines of the Brazilian Government Act 5.813 of june/22/2006 which approve the National Politics of Medicinal plants and Phytotherapics, and has the aim to guarantee to Brazilian people the safe access and rational use of medicinal plants and phytotherapics with safety, efficacy and quality, and also to promote the research and the development of technologies and innovations in medicinal plants and phytotherapics.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: