Investigation Units

Basic Sciences

Research Center in Natural Products, (CIPRONA, for its acronym in Spanish)

It is a multidisciplinary scientific research unit that investigates natural products economically exploitable from a chemical and industrial point of view, to develop or adapt appropriate technologies for the production of non-traditional agroindustrial products, which require a high technological component. It offers repetitive services, advising and consulting, and training in related topics.

Centro de Investigaciones en Productos Naturales (CIPRONA)


  • To develop projects, both basic and applied, in the broad field of products of natural origin, their derivatives, and the like.

Main functions

  • To research chemically and industrially exploitable natural products to develop or adapt technologies that are appropriate to produce non-traditional agroindustrial products, requiring a high technological component.
  • To extract, purify, analyze, and systematically identify the secondary metabolites of any natural origin (plants, fungi, bacteria, insects and animals) in order to know its structure, biological activity and potential application.
  • To make synthetic and semi-synthetic products of economic interest with application in agriculture and other related fields.
  • To study the use of biotechnology for the utilization of low-cost materials and agricultural waste.
  • To promote the education and training of scientists and professionals through teaching in the field of natural product chemistry and the application of separation techniques and spectroscopic methods of analysis.



  • The center is able to offer the following services:
  • Identification and quantification of organic compounds present in plants, fungi, bacteria, insects, and animals.
  • Obtaining validated extracts of natural origin.
  • Obtaining essential oils.
  • Preparation of essences/aromas
  • Support in the solution of problems presented by the industries, mainly in subjects related to products of natural origin.
  • Obtaining prototypes for cosmetic, cleaning, herbal products etc.
  • Utilization of pilot plant for specific projects.

Non Remunerated

  • Services provided within the University of Costa Rica and related to teaching, research, and graduate and postgraduate thesis:
  • Measurement of compounds for the determination of exact mass.
  • Chromatographic runs in GC-MS
  • Chromatographic runs on LC-MS
  • Determination of methodologies for analysis using UV, HPLC, NMR, GC-MS and LC-MS
  • Service of lyophilization, rotary evaporation and drying in a solar oven under controlled conditions.
  • Reception of groups for special practices of laboratory
  • Reception of groups for special practices in the Pilot Plant
  • Use of facilities for the partial or total completion of undergraduate and postgraduate theses of research projects not associated with the Center