Research & Development activities at CML

The R & D activities of CML have expanded covering a wide range of areas for over fifty years. Many public and private institutions in the country work in collaboration with CML for their R & D challenges.

Our Services

  • Product Identification, development of processes & technology and improving existing products and processes
  • Extension of work from lab scale to pilot scale
  • Economical and technical solutions for industrialists
  • Technical help in product development and material safety data sheets preparation
  • Provide expert opinion report on the existing products and processes

Ongoing Research

Development of bioactive Kithul Drink


In Sri Lanka, traditional Kithul toddy is prepared by spontaneous fermentation of fresh Kithul sap using wild yeast and bacteria. In folklore, natural Kithul toddy is claimed to have different health benefits. In a previous study carried out by ITI, revealed that toddy is a rich source of antioxidants. However, higher alcohol content, hygienic and quality issues limit the consumption of Kithul toddy as a beverage.

Therefore, to deliver the goodness of natural Kithul toddy to everyone, as a bioactive beverage, ITI is working towards development of a bioactive Kithul drink.

In pervious studies, several yeast strains were isolated from Kithul toddy which showed the ability to produce toddy flavour and odor with very low alcohol content (

Therefore this study will come up with a procedure for manufacturing of bioactive non-alcoholic Kithul drink. Further it is hoped to establish a prototype manufacturing facility and assurance of quality assurance of final product & testing procedures.


Mr. H.P.P.S. Somasiri
Mr. P. Ranasinghe
Dr. S. Premakumara

Granting Body: Treasury

Research Title: Development of Micro – Plate based high throughput anti-microbial assay

During past few years, ITI has developed several microplate based high-throughput bioassay methods using SPECTRAmaxPLUS384 plate reader. Bioassays such as antioxidant, total polyphenolic, α-glucosidase and α-amylase are now available for client services.

Antimicrobial assays are different from chemical or enzyme assays and are very important in studying biological activities of medicinal plant extracts. Conventionally, antimicrobial assays are carried out in culture plates. Micro-plate based bioassay methods are fast, accurate and cost effective compared to conventional methods.

Literature on microplate based antimicrobial assays is limited. However, results of our basic experiments show that antibacterial assays can be efficiently adopted into 96-well microplates with few innovative steps. Therefore, development of 96-well microplate based antimicrobial assay methods is important and our scientists are working on the project.


Mr. P. Ranasinghe
Mr. H.P.P.S. Somasiri
Ms. Sajeewika Perera

Granting Body: Treasury


Title: Quantification of L-Theanine and other Amino Acids in Sri Lankan Black Tea representing all tea growing areas

L-Theanine (gamma-ethyl amino-L-glutamic acid) is a unique non-protein amino acid found in plants of theaceae family. Apart from plants of theaceae, theanine was reported from a basidiomycetes fungus Xerocomus badius. Theanine is first discovered in tea leaves in 1949. This amino acid has been extensively studied in relation to food science and human nutrition, because this compound has a unique taste, characteristic of tea known as ‘‘umami’’ .The effects of theanine on human health have recently been investigated. Theanine is known to act as an antagonist against paralysis induced by caffeine, and is also known to be a neurotransmitter in the brain; a relaxation-inducing effect in humans has been proposed.

In one study of, these mental responses to L-theanine, brain wave topography showed that alpha waves were observed from the back to the top of a person’s head (occipital and parietal regions of the brain) within approximately 40 minutes after the subjects had taken either 50 or 200 mg of L-theanine.

L-theanine has a significant effect on the release or reduction of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, resulting in improved memory and learning ability. L-theanine may also influence emotions due to its effects on the increased release of dopamine. L-theanine reduces brain serotonin concentration by either curtailing serotonin synthesis or increasing degradation in the brain.

The regulation of blood pressure is partly dependent upon catecholaminergic and serotonergic neurons in both the brain and the peripheral nervous system. Studies on spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) showed an impressive blood pressure lowering effect with L-theanine.

Apart from the above, data for theanine content in black tea is scanty. Therefore generation of data for L-theanine in Sri Lankan black tea is very important. This could be used as very effective marketing tool since there is an upsurge of research on health promoting effect of this unique amino acid globally.

Establishment of data on Theanine contents of tea grown in different areas of the country, establishment of data on amino acid profiles of tea grown in different areas of the country, use of Theanine content of tea as a marketing tool, establishment of Theanine analysis of tea at ITI are few of the outcomes of this study.


Gold Medal for the best research paper and presentation- 3rd Symposium on “Plantation Crop Research” September 30th – 3rd October, 2010, Cinnamon Grand Hotel.


Mr. H.P.P.S. Somasiri
Dr. N. Punyasiri – Tea Research Institute(TRI)

Granting Body: Tea Research Institute, Talawakele.

Title: Assessment of Trihalomethanes in chlorinated water supplies of National Water Supplies & Drainage Board

Chlorine is the most commonly used disinfectant in water treatment plants today. The effectiveness as a disinfectant, ease of application and relatively low cost has also contributed to its widespread use. However, chlorine also reacts with dissolved organic matter in the water to form disinfection by-products (DBPs), many of which have carcinogenic or mutagenic properties. The most important DBPs in terms of quantity are tri-halo-methanes (THMs), the four main THMs being the chloroform, dichlorobromomethane, chlorodibromomethane and bromoform.

The possibility that chlorinated water supplied by the NWSDB contains trihalomethanes has been a matter of concern for public water supply & health authorities for a long period of time, particularly with the increasing rate of cancer in the country. However due to the lack of analytical capabilities a detailed study has not been carried out upto date in Sri Lanka. This study proposes to firstly monitor the concentrations of the 4 main THMs in the water supplied to the public from three main water treatment plants (WTPs) in Colombo, six WTPs in Gamapaha district and few selected transmission endpoints and distribution endpoints of WTPs located in Colombo.

The proposed study is very important in the context of the development of water resources in Sri Lanka. A comprehensive analysis of the impact of pollution on water supply is needed in order to develop sound policies to deal with this conflict. This study will also help determine if the public is being exposed to carcinogenic substances through the public water supply and also make recommendations to prevent or minimize the formation of these substances.


Mr. J.K.A. B. Wijegunasekara
Ms. Vimarshi Liyanaarachchi
R & D Section of National Water Supplies & Drainage Board

Granting Body: National Science Foundation

Title: Determination of potentially toxic trace metals in Pesticides use in Sri Lanka

The endemic occurrence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) with an uncertain aetiology is one of the major health issues in the dry zone of Sri Lanka where the agricultural output contributes to more than 70% of the annual rice production in the country. According to the Annual Health Bulletin (2005), the number of patients visit to hospitals for the treatment of genitor-urinary system related diseases has almost doubled during the period of 1980 – 2005. Data obtained from the Ministry of Health also revealed that, 4.6% from the annual health budget is spent on management of CKDu patients which amounts to 350 million rupees. Although several arguments are put forward; none of these indicates a clear possible causative factor for the disease. However, the biggest doubt at the moment is the possible relationship with the toxic heavy metals entered to environment and food chains from pesticides and the CKDu. The available data is not sufficient to get a clear picture on toxic heavy metals (As, Hg, Cd, Pb) in various pesticides formulations (Herbicides, Fungicides and Insecticides). Therefore, this study proposes to quantify and tabulate the toxic heavy metals in Pesticide formulations available in the market.



Dr (Ms). K. Mahatantila

Mr. B. Wijegunasekara

Mr. M.N.A. Mubarak

Ms. B. Dolakumbura

Ms. G.U. Chandrasiri

Granting Body: Treasury



Last Updated on Monday, 25 November 2013 13:57

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