University of Florida

Native holly can provide caffeinated, antioxidant-rich beverage, UF experts say

Topic(s): Food Safety, Nutrition


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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Coffee and tea drinkers, take note — a University of Florida study says a beverage made from a native holly tree might be just the thing to give you a caffeinated kick-start, plus a dose of antioxidants.

Yaupon (YO-ponn) holly is the only U.S. plant that produces substantial amounts of caffeine, said Jack Putz, a botany professor affiliated with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. A popular ornamental species, yaupon grows wild throughout the Southeast and can be grown in most coastal states.

Centuries ago, American Indians and Spanish settlers steeped yaupon leaves and twigs in hot water to make a stimulating beverage, but that use of the plant is virtually unknown today.

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UF/IFAS, Buckeye Technologies and Myriant announce next-generation cellulosic ethanol research and demonstration plant

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Economics, Environment, New Technology, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Fuel isn’t the only product derived from petroleum. Byproducts of the refining process are used to create other substances, such as plastics. However, in the race to replace our dependence on petroleum with biofuels, these valuable byproducts are often overlooked.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Buckeye Technologies Inc. and Myriant Technologies LLC (formed by BioEnergy International, LLC) have announced plans for a research and demonstration plant that will explore ways to harness byproducts from some of the most promising cellulosic ethanol techniques to make environmentally friendly versions of petroleum products.

The plant is to be located at Buckeye’s Perry, Fla., facility and will be built with the aid of $20 million allocated by the Florida Legislature. The groundbreaking is planned for this fall, with an ultimate goal of proving a level of commercial viability that could lead to a full-scale biorefinery at the site. (more …)

UF/IFAS announces modified plans for demonstration cellulosic ethanol plant

Topic(s): Agriculture, Biofuels, Environment, New Technology, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Plans for a new cellulosic ethanol research and demonstration plant to be built by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are being revamped for a location closer to Gainesville.

IFAS officials announced today that they have modified their agreement for the plant, which originally was slated to be built at a Florida Crystals Corp. site in Okeelanta, Fla. The new plans call for a smaller, next-generation facility – the construction of which will more easily fall within the $20 million budget allocated by the Florida Legislature.

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