You are on page 1of 1


Informational brochure
on plant science and extraction
of plant resins.

Resins are a heterogeneous mixture of resin acids (C20H30O2), fatty acids, esters of these
acids, sterols, alcohols, waxes, and resenes (mixtures of neutral alkali-resistant compounds
containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). Both conifers and broadleaved trees synthesize
resins, but conifers usually produce much larger amounts. Resin yields of 0.8 to 25% have
been reported for coniferous woods as compared to only 0.7 to 3% for woods of angiosperm
trees (Wise and Jahn, 1952). Most resin used commercially comes from trees of the Pinaceae,
legume families, and Dipterocarpaceae. Copals are a group of resins extracted from

leguminous forest trees and are known for their hardness and high melting point.
Trees of the Dipterocarpaceae produce a resin called dammar in commerce. Another commercially important resin is kauri gum, obtained from the kauri tree of New Zealand
(Howes, 1949). Amber is a fossil resin. Secretory structures associated with resins are
discussed in Chapter 2.