Pharmacological potential of maples from Canada

28 August 2017

Picture : Red maple buds


Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and red maple (Acer rubrum) are both of high commercial value in Canada, either for the production of maple syrup than for the quality of their timber. Recent studies have revealed another richness of the maples: their active molecules, contained in the bark, branches, leaves and twigs. Identified as belonging mainly to the polyphenol family, these molecules have pharmacological, cosmetic and nutraceutical potential.

In the wood chemistry laboratory of the Renewable Materials Research Centre, two studies are carried out in parallel to explore two different parts of the tree: buds and bark. Buds are the richest part of the tree in active compounds since they are involved in its growth. This original exploratory study aims to identify these compounds and to study their potential bioactivities. The bark is also rich in compounds of interest as it is the first line of defense against predators (herbivores) and pathogens (bacteria and fungi). Being a wood processing residue produced by sawmills, bark is available in abundant quantities. Therefore, the research focuses mainly on the extraction, optimization and industrial application processes, while studying its bioactivities.

For more information, read the articles 1, 2 and 3.

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