Source: SEAMEO BIOTROP's Research Grant | 2020
Styrax resin is a major non-timber forest product from North Sumatra, Indonesia. However, thousands tons of raw resin are sent abroad, while various incense-based products worth US millions dollars are imported. Limited harvesting and processing technology are some root of causes the lack of styrax oil-based industry development in Indonesia. The objectives of this research are (i) to increase the styrax resin productivity by improving resin harvesting and processing technology, and (ii) increasing value-added through incense-based products innovation. Three tapping techniques tested were (a) conventional, (b) bark tapping (as applied to rubber plantations); and (c) modified tapping by spacing between bark and woody stem. A factorial complete randomized design was carried out to determine the differences of physico-chemical properties of resin and oil against various harvesting methods applied. Some tests were ran including moisture content, ash content, impurities, melting point, balsamic acid content and purity tests. Two resin extractions were compared: (a) steam distillation, and (b) solvent extraction. A complete random design was carried out to obtain the optimum solvent concentration. The added-value were calculated for a new grading classification and processing resins into essential oils and perfume products. Benzoin resin is produced by injured-inner-epithelial barks, therefore bark tapping is the best effort to harvest the resin. Result shows that a modified conventional method increases production by 13.2%, therefore considered feasible applied on wider scale. The resin grading and volume of solvent affected the physical properties of resin. The highest yield (61%) was obtained from a 20 mL solvent with melting time 120 minutes. If proposed new grading is agreed by stakeholders involved, there are an additional farmer income of IDR6,055/kg. This is significant considering the resin production about 5 thousand tons or an additional domestic income IDR30.3 billion annually. Processing resin into an essential oil increase the added-value of resin IDR595,799 - 1,095,799/kg or four to seven times if it sold in current condition. The innovating resin into a base-note perfume appreciates the price becomes IDR60-80 million per liter. Impacts of the innovation include increasing both added-value of resin and community's welfares.
Keywords: benzoin, essential oil, extraction, grading, purification