Systematic Forest & Forest Products Science
How do we utilize forest bio-resources (wood, mushroom, etc)? Dominant chemical resources are lignin, cellulose, and hemicelluloses as structural constituents in woods. However, their characteristic features of forest bio-resources such as color, odor, and biological activities are mainly caused by their “extractives”. Development of utilizing not only structural constituents (lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, etc) but also individual extractives should be achieved for the overall utilization of bio-resources. Our group has been searching for ecologically sound functional agents based on natural products (including biopolymers such as enzymes) that fundamentally regulate nature. Our studies have focused on developing alternative medicinal agents, cosmetic ingredient, aroma but the scope has now extended to not only plant but also mushroom, etc. Also, the conversion of unused biomaterials such as waste (bark and bamboo, etc) to valuable biological active material by the mushroom, in other words, bio-refinery for production of biologically active materials for medicine, cosmetics, and functional food is also under investigation. Furthermore, the investigation of the physiological and psychological effects of aroma (volatile or essential oil) on humans is going. Our group has been pursuing these types of studies.