Natural pigment has always played an important role in our life. As early as 4000 years ago, Ancient Egyptians have utilized natural pigment from a plant as dyeing agent.
As the use of synthetic pigments raised common concerns towards their potential harmful effect on human health, the world's demand in natural pigments has been increasing steadily. Natural pigments are generally considered safe, and they offer nutritional and pharmacological benefits. In the business world, market value will benefit from consumer preferences for environmentally friendly products, which will support the use of natural pigments. However the utilization of natural pigments is limited due to lower stability, and higher costs.
As a country rich with resources for natural pigments, Indonesia may play an important role in this part. Research endeavors should be dedicated to generate significant innovation for this commodity, not only to establish Indonesia's position in the world's market but also to improve the country's capability in this area. A synergized effort between Academia, Business and Government is therefore key to drive valuable innovations for the nation's benefit.
I hope the 2nd NPSEA Conference can build sustainable bridges between government, industry and academia; and promote centers of excellence in the Natural Pigments research areas that are strategic to the well-being of our country.
Dr. Mochtar Riady
Prof. Richard J. Cogdell
Message from Scientific Advisor Ma Chung RnD Center
It's a great pleasure to welcome you all to the 2nd Natural Pigments Conference for South East Asia. There is an enormous diversity of plant species on our planet. This diversity is especially clear in the rainforests of South East Asia. Plants not only ultimately provide all our food, but also produce all the oxygen that we breathe. The importance of photosynthesis is therefore very clear.
Plants also produce a bewildering number of pigments and secondary metabolites. This diversity is undoubtedly related to the problems that plants have in being sedentary. If you can't move when local conditions become unfavourable then you have to evolve a wide range of strategies to overcome these problems. The diversity of secondary metabolites undoubtedly represent part of plants arsenal of weapons that they use to combat the various environmental challenges with which they are presented on a regular basis.
There is currently a drive to try to exploit our understanding of photosynthesis to develop new ways of converting solar energy into fuels. It's often forgotten however that most of our current medicines are originally derived from plant products that were discovered by chance during human history. It's clear that only a small number of plant products have either been well characterised chemically and even fewer tested for possible pharmacological effects. Conferences such as this bring together scientists from around the world and from different disciplines and provide a forum in which to discuss and explore ways of exploiting plants and plant products for the good of mankind. I hope you will find this conference exciting and stimulating and you will make all the new friendships and connections that will allow you to take your science to the next level.
Professor Richard J. Cogdell, Ph.D, FRS, FRSE, FRSA, FBA