Monograph on Benzoin (Balsamic Resin from Styrax Species)

RAP Publication: 2001/21

Edited by
Masakazu Kashio
Dennis V. Johnson

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand

Table of Contents

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Photo credits

K. Pinyopusarerk
M. Fischer
J.J.W. Coppen
P. Sroithongkham
M. Kashio
R. Costaz

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Meetings and Publications Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Maliwan Mansion, Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.

For copies, write to:

FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (66) 02-697-4000; Fax: (66) 02-697-4445
E-mail: [email protected]

© FAO 2001

ISBN 974-7946-16-5

Table of Contents



Editorial notes


Exchange rates

Map of Lao PDR

Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 General background
1.2 FAO technical assistance through a project
1.3 Major activities and outputs

Chapter 2. Description of gum benzoin

2.1 Terminology
2.2 Appearance
2.3 Chemistry
2.4 Plant sources

Chapter 3. Traditional benzoin production within its village context

3.1 Benzoin production
3.2 Ban Kachet village
3.3 Ban Sang La Dtai village
3.4 Conclusions: the village context of benzoin production

Chapter 4. Improved silviculture of Styrax tonkinensis

4.1 Review of Styrax tonkinensis silviculture
4.2 Plantation silviculture in Viet Nam
4.3 Potential for genetic improvement
4.4 Provenance trials
4.5 Agroforestry trial

Chapter 5. Tapping methods and improvement

5.1 Tree size and benzoin production
5.2 Tapping methods
5.3 Tapping trials

Chapter 6. Markets and end-uses of benzoin: competition from other supplying countries

6.1 Pharmaceuticals
6.2 Fragrances
6.3 Flavours
6.4 Other uses
6.5 Competition from other supplying countries

Chapter 7. International trade

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Overview of international trade
7.3 Export data - Primary source countries
7.4 Import data - Secondary source countries
7.5 Export data - Secondary source countries
7.6 Import data - Other countries

Chapter 8. Marketing

8.1 Products
8.2 Channels of distribution
8.3 Prices
8.4 Promotion

Chapter 9. The future: assessment of the problems and prospects for improved benzoin production and marketing in Lao PDR

9.1 Supply
9.2 Price and the collector
9.3 Quality aspects
9.4 Substitutes
9.5. Demand
9.6 Value-added processing
9.7 Institutional weaknesses in Lao PDR

Chapter 10. Strategies for benzoin development and recommendations

10.1 Workshop and recommendations
10.2 Silviculture and benzoin processing
10.3 Land use policy
10.4 Marketing system
10.5 Overall recommendations


Appendix 1: List of key organizations, traders, companies and experts on benzoin
Appendix 2. Results of TLC analysis of 15 samples of benzoin
Appendix 3: Pharmacopoeia monographs on benzoin
Appendix 4: Examples of traditional Thai/Chinese medicines containing benzoin
Appendix 5: Results of the follow-up studies in 1999 and 2000
Appendix 6: Bibliography
Appendix 7: Examples of products using Siam benzoin

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