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, 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 which are appropriate to produce non-traditional agroindustrial products, requiring a high technological component. To develop the necessary methodology to support its subsequent quality control.
  • 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 exploitation of low-cost materials and agricultural waste.
  • To promote the education and training of scientists and professionals on natural products chemistry and the application of separation techniques and spectroscopic methods of analysis as part of undergraduate and graduate programs.



  • 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 and essential oils.
  • Preparation of essences/aromas
  • Support in problem solutions presented by the industries, mainly in natural origin products.
  • Obtaining prototypes for cosmetic, cleaning, herbal products etc.
  • Use of pilot plant for specific projects.

Non Remunerated

  • Services provided within the University of Costa Rica and related to teaching, research, and undergraduate and graduate thesis.
  • Compounds Measurement for the determination of exact mass
  • Chromatographic runs in GC-MS and 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.
  • Special practices of laboratory and in the Pilot Plant.
  • Use of facilities for the partial or total completion of undergraduate and graduate theses of research projects not associated with the Center.