15 Feb

Tunisia: Olive Oil Yields Patents for Local Biochemistry Researcher

A Tunisian biochemistry researcher whose laboratory specializes in the characteristics of different varieties of Tunisian olive oil, has managed to register two patents respectively on the anti-oxidant qualities of one variety of olive oil that grows in the country’s north western regions and on sterility therapy in certain animal species.

Dr Mokhtar Zarrouk who heads a research laboratory in which some 20 researchers are working, has been involved in identifying the therapeutic qualities of olive oil for many years. Dr Zarrouk’s laboratory is located on the premises of the Bordj Cedria technological park, which specializes in biotechnologies, as well as renewable energies.

In 2007 the scientific journal Biophysique, Biochimie et Biotechnologie published the results of his research, earning him the admiration of the scientific community.

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba, in Japan, which has strong ties with the Bordj Cedria technological park, have helped Dr Zarrouk patent his valuable research.

With patents respectively registered in Japan, under the patent cooperation treaty (PCT), and in France, the Tunisian scientist has received interesting offers for the industrial exploitation by the pharmaceutical industry of his findings on the anti oxidant and anti -carcinogenic properties of some varieties of Tunisian olive oil.His second discovery of an olive oil based, active principle likely to eradicate sterilty in certain female species, also yields interesting prospects.

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