The use of high quality botanicals is essentia! in understanding their beneficial effects and the mechanism(s) of action of their bioactive components as well as for ensuring reproducibility of experimental results. High quality botanicals are those that are standardized plant materials of known provenance. Due to high variability of bioactivity and chemical concentrations found in various populations of similar plant species, high quality, consistent botanicals for study are difficult to identify. The Botany and Quality Assurance Core (Core B) will primarily function as a centralized quaility control unit for the Center to address these complicated issues. Two Specifc Aims will be implemented to achieve this primary function. Core B will assess botanical suppliers and their products, evaluate product documentation, confirm identity collections of plant-derived material and acquire the botanical oils to be used for all Center Projects (Aim 1). Additionally Core B will evaluate bioactive components (content and long term stability) and assess potential contaminants (Aim 2). Collectively, these proposed activites are expected to ensure the safety of botanicals used in Center Projects as well as the reproducibility of experimental outcomes with these botanicals. The analytical and taxonomic strengths of Core B will also be utilized for a secondary function (Aim 3). Core B will attempt to identify alternative land and aquatic botanical organisms that may be useful for future development as a source of botanical oil. The ideal organism (s) would offer a fatty acid profile and content potentially superior to those currently in use. The functions of the Botanical and Quality Assurance Core (Core B) are expected facilitate the use of high quality botanical oils by the Center Projects.
The Botany and Quality Assurance Core (BQAC) will provide dedicated services (quality control, vendor evaluation, product evaluation, analytical, taxonomic identification, inventory control) to all of the Center Projects to ensure that the botanical and dietary oils used in the proposed animal and human studies are of the highest quality available and that the quality and purity ofthese materials is maintained.
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