PROD232-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Natural Products Properties and Production

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


Classes and sources of natural products, with an emphasis on extracted components such as microbial metabolites or essential oils from plants, are described and characterised. Cultural issues surrounding the ownership and use of native flora and fauna. The design, operation, performance and advantages/disadvantages of current production methods such as steam distillation and solvent extraction are described. Laboratory practical exercises in extraction and analysis of natural products.

The course aims to introduce different chemical classes of metabolites in plants and other natural resources, as well as educating students on the fundamental aspects of extracting bioactive compounds from these sources. Other key objectives of the course include creating graduates with an awareness of the importance of natural resources that people of all origins have been using since ancient times, and encouraging them to be ethical and respectful when using resources from nature in formulated products and pay attention to their sustainability. In addition, students will learn about toxicities of natural resources, the regulatory framework related to nature-based products and be responsible when creating such new formulations. They will learn a range of useful laboratory techniques though the experimental sessions and will develop practical problem solving skills, teamwork abilities and presentation skills through various classroom and laboratory activities.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain a broad knowledge of the major classes of natural products and be able to describe several detailed examples for each.
    (Graduate Profile 1, 2, 3)
  • Students will understand the need, when developing product concepts, to consider issues around Māori and indigenous knowledge, traditional use, cultural perspectives and ownership of native flora and fauna in view of the Treaty of Waitangi.
    (Graduate Profile 10, 12, BiCC 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Students will be able to describe appropriate methods for the extraction and purification of natural products from a range of sources, mainly from a technical perspective but also considering traditional and contemporary Māori and other indigenous cultural views.
    (Graduate Profile 1, 2, 3, BiCC 2, 3, 6, 7)
  • Students will gain fundamental practical laboratory skills in the extraction, purification and analysis of natural products. (Graduate Profile 1, 2, 3, 11).
  • Students will be able to read and understand scientific literature and will improve their skills in presenting scientific material and their team work ability.
  • Students will gain an understanding of the toxicology of natural products, the responsible use of compounds extracted from natural sources, and the global regulatory framework related to natural product formulations.
  • Students will build early connections with industry experts in the field.


Course Coordinator

Pram Lakmi Abhayawardhana

Course Administrator

Alison Lowery


Pram Lakmi Abhayawardhana , Conan Fee , Ian Shaw and Tim Huber

Lecturers include Dr. Pram Abhayawardhana, Prof. Conan Fee, Prof. Ian Shaw and Dr. Tim Huber


Quizzes: 5%
Laboratory reports: 25%
Case study and presentation: using traditional knowledge in modern formulation research: 10%
Test: 15%
Final Exam: 40%
Bonus points for various classroom activities: 5%


The prerequisite for this course is PROD235 or CHEM112

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $986.00

International fee $5,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Product Design on the departments and faculties page .

All PROD232 Occurrences

  • PROD232-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021