There will be pharmaceutical studies to develop antibiotics using coconut water.
Coconut Development Board and Care Keralam, a joint venture of entrepreneurs in Ayurveda and Kinfra, have joined hands to conduct research studies for development of value added products from coconut. A memorandum of understanding for the new project was signed at a function held here recently by CDB chairman T.K. Jose and Karimpuzha Raman, the managing director of CareKeralam.
Under the project, clinical studies will be conducted on the use of virgin coconut oil as oral application to infants to develop immunity. There will be pharmaceutical studies to develop antibiotics using tender coconut water. Studies will be held to develop products based on tender coconut water against urethral stones and diarrhoea. Research will also be done to make products to treat diabetes as well as liver and skin diseases.
Pitroda’s pet project
Mr.Jose said assistance for the programme will be extended under the Board’s Technology Mission on Coconut. For development of technologies, the Board provides 100 per cent of the project cost, limited to Rs.75 lakh for government institutions and cooperative societies; and 50 per cent of the project cost, limited to Rs.35 lakh for NGOs, entrepreneurs and private research organisations. Development of new products under the mission is a pet project of Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the National Innovation Council.
He said the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties of coconut oil were sought to be established through the chain of research.
Trials of consumption of virgin coconut oil on the HIV positive patients were in progress. Clinical studies on the use of coconut oil on cardiology patients were being undertaken at a premier hospital and the results would be released next year, he said.
Soft drinks company
Mr.Jose said that a major soft drinks company was keen to have powdered concentrate of tender coconut water and had sought the help of CDB. The Board is yet to develop such a technology. The development has underlined the importance of natural drinks in the market, he said.
Mr.Raman said CareKeralam would identify entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in technologies developed by the Board. The joint venture, having over 100 members, was hopeful of taking up 20 to 50 studies within a year under the new project, he said.