Gums, resins and latexes are employed in a wide range of food and pharmaceutical products and in several other technical applications. They form an important group of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) and are the basis of a multi-billion dollar industry. These products, particularly gums, enter into world trade in a significant way and this is indicative of the potential of NWFPs for value addition at various stages from harvesting of raw materials to the end-uses.
This publication deals with important gums, resins and latexes following a standard format, covering description and uses, world supply and demand levels, plant sources, collection and primary processing, value-added processing, other uses and developmental potential.
This document was prepared by J.J.W. Coppen of the UK/ODA Natural Resources Institute, who is an authority on the subject. Formatting and proofreading of it were ably done by Elisa Rubini. Its preparation and publication was guided and supervised by C. Chandrasekharan, Chief, Non-Wood Products and Energy Branch. I am grateful to them for their contributions.
Some of these products presently suffer competition
from synthetic products. There is, however, clear evidence of re-emergence
of awareness and interest in these natural products and it is expected
that this publication can accelerate the process.
Forest Products Division