The institute is working on chemical synthesis and has developed a number of value added compounds from plant sources like Dihydrotagetone alcohols, an analogue of natural whisky lactone, trans-cimmamaldehyde etc. Several processes like conversion of toxic beta asarone to pharamacologically active alpha asarone, preparation neolignan, phenylaldehydes from phenylpropenes etc. have also been developed. A green process has been developed for preparation of natural colours in crystalline form from locally available plant resources. Preliminarily toxicity tests have shown them to be safe for use in cosmetics and food.
The institute has developed a strong nursery base of Stevia rebaudiana. Large scale planting materials have been provided to farmers of several states of India. Green technology has been developed for processing of stevioside. This technology has been successfully tested at pilot scale.
Green chemistry is a focus area and novel cost effective methods have been developed for synthesis of Beta- amino carbonyl compounds, bis (indolyl) methanes, benzothiazole derivatives and amides. A unique synergistic combination of lipase and ionic liquid [hmim]Br was used for metal –free H2O2.
The institute has carried out extensive work on cultivation and processing of scented rose and developed and a comprehensive agro and processing technology package. Two varieties namely Jwala, suitable for cultivation in plain areas and Himroz suitable for cultivation in hilly areas have been released. Similarly, agro and processing technology has also been developed for Tagetes(wild marigold), Lavander and geranium. Presently, work is being focused on domestication and chemical characterization of high value medicinal and aromatic plants like, Picrorhiza, Dracocephalum heterophyllum, Valeriana jatamansi, Artemesia, Ginko biloba, Arnebia euchroma, Asparagus racemosus, Dioscorea deltoidea, Podophyllum hexandrum, Curcuma aromatica, Aesculus indica, Valeriana jatamansi, Potentilla fulgens, Hercleum thomsoni, Capillipedium parriflorim, Cedrus deodara, Salvia sclarea, Elsholtzia fruiticosa, Glycyrrhiza glabra etc.
For processing of herbals and aromatic crops to yield high quality essential oils, a simple portable mini distillation apparatus was designed. The design was transferred to an industry for fabrication and sale. Similarly, a mobile distillation unit has also been fabricated to facilitate on-site processing of aromatics and herbals.