O. Polis, K. Spalvis
Monday 5 August 2013 by Libadmin2013

References: 13th SGEM GeoConference on Water Resources. Forest, Marine And Ocean Ecosystems, www.sgem.org, SGEM2013 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-02-5 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 16-22, 2013, 805 - 812 pp


The growing demand for renewable organic raw material resources calls for a comprehensive evaluation of the current underutilization of relatively low-value resources.
The forest industry is one of the largest areas for underutilization of such relatively low-value biomass resources, because the use of wood is mainly limited to stem wood and does not exceed 70% of whole tree biomass. The remaining part of tree biomass – tree foliage (leaves, needles and non-lignified small branches) and bark, or so called non-wood biomass, is considered to be a residue of logging and wood processing, and, at best, is used as a fuel or even left in the forest.
Unlike wood, the value of tree foliage is determined by the value and amount of its organic compounds. Latvia’s main coniferous species’ - Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) foliage contains many biologically active substances, which can be used for therapeutic purposes as well for various household products, thus increasing its value.
The most valuable individual compounds and groups of compounds of tree foliage include vitamins (C, E, K and others), chlorophyll, carotene and carotenoids, polyprenols, β-sitosterol, essential oils and other compounds. These potentially valuable compounds can be economically obtained.
The tremendous advantage of coniferous tree foliage is that the raw material is available throughout the year and thus production is not seasonal depending, as it is with agriculturally cultivated plants.
This paper summarizes Latvian research in identifying the chemical composition of coniferous foliage, especially biologically active compounds, and the development of technologies for obtaining these compounds in industrial quantities.

Keywords: tree foliage, biologically active substances, products from coniferous foliage.

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