The ingredient used as a natural repellent to dengue and malaria mosquito wins Natura’s Award on Vegetal Ingredients.
To acknowledge and encourage researchers in the Amazon region, Natura Campus - the programme that aims at broadening and developing science, innovation and technology through partnerships and networks – has made the 1st Edition of the Award on Vegetal Ingredients.
The winner was Ana Cristina da Silva Pinto, research with a scholarship from the Program on Institutional Capacitation of the National Institute on Amazonian Research (IINPA). The chosen ingredient was Matico (Piper Aduncum), which is now applied in a innovative way as a natural repellent and insecticide to combat dengue and malaria mosquitoes.
“The award vegetal ingredients contributes and strengthens our strategy to develop the local scientific scenario, onde it values and recognizes one of the great potential for research and innovation in the Amazon, biodiversity”, says Luciana Hashiba, manager at the Innovation Management and Network of Natura.
Pinto’s research has emerged as a master’s thesis in 2002 and was continued during her PhD, from 2003 to 2008, at the FederalUniversity of Amazonas, UFAM. She affirms that, as soon as the call for the award was launched, in September 2014, her interest to participate emerged. “Winning this award while competing with researchers across Amazon was really important! It is an acknowledgment of my career as a newly formed researcher”, she says.
She said that thanks to the prixe, worth 30,000 BRL, it will be possible to invest in continuing the research as well as broaden the study for products with other species of plants.
All proposals were evaluated by a scientific committee composed by three researchers from Natura and two researchers in the area of natural products and pharmacognosy, gathered in Manaus for a careful review of the material. The evaluation process focused on the quality of ingredients presented, regardless of its application in cosmetics. The selection also took into account the quantity of ingredients used during the research.
“The ingredients used by the winner feature a full phytochemical characterization, including its fractionation and the studies of the specie’s seasonality. Furthermore, studies for the biological application of the ingredient were very well designed, considering the great number of independt replications and experiments, which increases the robustness of the data presented and guarantees the reliability of the results obtained. Initially, we were not worried about a cosmetic application, since we wanted to recognize a scientific work in the are which had quality and representativeness in the area of natural products”, says Patricia Moreira, scientific Manager at Natura.
The Award Amazon Vegetal Ingredients was part of activities to commemorate the one year anniversary of Natura’s Amazon Innovation Center (NINA), which aims at stimulating the creation of a network of researchers “in” the Amazon, “about” the Amazon, and “for” the Amazon, involving local, national and international science and technology institutions.
By 2020, NINA wants to involve about a thousand researchers in a network, in Brazil and abroad. During the first months of operation, agreements for collaboration were signed with four institutions in the region, such as UFAM, INPA and Embrapa. The partnerships will allow local communities to benefit from scientific discoveries quicker.
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