Two researchers, Dr. Amal Amin Aidia and Dr. Manal Yahia bin Samih, from the Chemistry Department at Al-Leith University College at Umm Al-Qura University have won second place in the Rashid Bin Humaid Award for Culture and Science, Ajman, UAE, in its 35th session. They divided the prize fifty-fifty. More than 200 researchers at the level of the Gulf Cooperation Council were nominated for this prize, which was awarded to only 33 researchers.
The research of Prof. Dr. Amal and Dr. Manal that won the prize was entitled ‘Evaluation of date pits as a natural source of anti-cholesterol and effective compounds using nanotechnology.’ The research suggests recycling date waste (pits), which contain highly medically effective substances, instead of the useless disposal of them, as thousands of tons of themgo to waste after dates are processed.
In this research, the pits were groundup using the Nano ball mill in Al-Leith University College (Female Section) lab, with the assistance of Dr. Manal Khudiri, associate professor in the Chemistry Department and official officer of the Nanotechnology Unit.
Date pits have been found to contain many active compounds and antioxidants, as well as effective substances that help to reduce harmful levels high cholesterol. Dr. Amal Aidia, a specialist in medicinal plants and biochemistry, has published more than 70 research papers in international journals in the field of medicinal plants. The international scientific citations from her research number in excess of 1,500. She also has an international project from the RDI, in collaboration with French bodies in the field of anti-cancer medicinal plants, and she has organized many local and international conferences in the same field. Dr. Manal bin Samih, head of the Chemistry Department at Al-Leith University College, is a specialist in natural products and photochemistry. She has published many research papers in the field of medicinal plants and has received certificates of appreciation from various research centers. She has a great passion for being a distinguished Saudi researcher.
It is worth noting that Prof. Dr. Amal and Dr. Manal are in the process of obtaining a patent for the medicinal use of date pits to treat some diseases. They will also be contacting functional food companies to turn ground date pits into medical capsules using nanotechnology to treat high cholesterol levels and use as an excellent source of antioxidants.
The two researchers extend their thanks to His ExcellencyDr. Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Malki, the Dean of the University College, and Dr. Iman Al-Lahibi, the Dean of the College, for their support and continuous encouragement of the academic staff in the college in their innovation in the field of scientific research and international publishing. Umm Al-Qura University is one of the most important universities supporting scientific research to contribute to the achievement of Saudi Vision 2030.