In the spring of 2021, the IICC will launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise at least $250,000 to fund the first round of research projects amongst members of the IICC. These initial research projects, listed by host organization, are briefly described below. In the last 100 years, there has been very little research into the productive uses of the coca leaf. We have 100 years of science and technology research to do, in just a few years.
ICESI - experimental farm for coca leaf varieties, Valle de Cauca
The University of ICESI of Cali, Colombia, will work with local indigenous groups (in the Valle de Cauca province) with legal coca fields to create an experimental farm where various varieties of the coca leaf can be grown and analyzed for their levels of food and beverage flavorings, and for their compatibility with unsweetened cacao. We will also measure other benefits of the coca leave, especially the levels of vitamins, minerals and protein.
ICESI - experimental farm for coca leaf varieties, Nariño
The University of ICESI of Cali, Colombia, will work with local indigenous groups (in the Nariño province) with coca fields to create an experimental farm where various varieties of the coca leaf can be grown and analyzed for their levels of food and beverage flavorings, and for their compatibility with unsweetened cacao. We will also measure other benefits of the coca leave, especially the levels of vitamins, minerals and protein.
ICESI - coca food/beverage product engineering
The University of ICESI will investigate formulations for foods and beverages, especially sodas and chocolates, that make use of the food and beverage flavorings in the coca leaf. The goal is to create recipes for products that can be used to help launch coca businesses in Colombia. This project will also gather the recipes using the coca leaf that are scattered across the Andes.
ICESI - pilot plant for alkaloid-free coca leaf extracts
The University of ICESI will investigate processes for preparing coca leaf extracts from the coca leaves of Colombia, where the extracts have the coca alkaloid removed (allowing such extracts to be sold around the world). One goal is to develop a compact device for preparing extracts that can be built in all of the coca leaf communities of Colombia, so that they can manufacture and sell coca leaf extracts with the unique flavorings of the leaves of their region, similar to coffees and cacaos.
ICESI - pilot plant for coca leaf beverages
The University of ICESI will work with KukaXoco to design and then later build a pilot plant for delicious sugar-free cola sodas using the tecnology developed by KukaXoco. The goal is to produce the first coca leaf product with global marketability in an industry, the soda industry, that is a huge market to provide sales opportunities for a healthy coca-leaf cola soda. While soda bottling plants are extremely well-known, what needs to be researched as how to prepare coca leaf extracts to be added to the cola soda manufacturing process.
IICC/Cali - new legal tactics for industrializing the coca leaf
The Cali office of the IICC will work with local lawyers and law schools to develop new legal tactics for industrializing the coca leaf, following in the footsteps of the legalization of the marijuana industry. For example, in the United States, the coca leaf (Schedule II) is more legal than the marijuana leaf (Schedule I). Therefore, the coca leaf should have equal legal opportunities in the U.S. marketplace as does the marijuana leaf has. This project will explore legal tactics to open up foreign global markets to the full coca leaf, especially in countries (Spain, Portugal) and states (Oregon in the U.S.) that have decriminalized all drugs.
IICC/Cali - seeking GRAS status for the full coca leaf
The Cali office of the IICC will collect information to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to seeking GRAS status for the coca leaf with the coca alkaloid. Currently, the coca leaf without the coca alkaloid has GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe - for use in foods and beverages) status in the United States, allowing all industries to reasonably safely use the de-cocainized coca leaves/extracts in foods and beverages. Since the coca alkaloid in products such as coca tea is both healthwise safe and non-addictive, we will seek GRAS status for the full coca leaf as part of an effort to open the U.S. (and other) market to sales of coca tea. Coca tea must be available for sale wherever recreational marijuana is sold. This is a fundamental issue of equal rights under human rights laws.
IICC/Cali - preparing plans to launch a "Banco de Coca y Cacao"
Banks have tremendous political power. In the United States, through the vehicle of the U.S. Federal Reserve, they control the U.S. economy. That is power! Sadly, none of the banks of Colombia, Peru or Bolivia, with huge political power in their countries, are not using any of their power to lobby for more legal opportunities for coca growers and manufacturers. Fine! So let's form a "Banco de Coca y Cacao" where there coca and cacao growing communities can use for their banking services, and as the bank grows in size and acquires political power, use that political power to fight for the rights of coca growers. This project will study the legal and financial requirements to form a "Banco de Coca y Cacao", first in Colombia, and then to expand operations across Latin America.
IICC/Lima - preparing plans to launce a "Museo de Coca" in Lima
The Lima office of the IICC will study creating a formal museum for the coca leaf. Traditionally, and historically, Peru has been the center of the rich coca leaf culture of the Andes. The heartland of the coca leaf has long been based in Cusco, Peru. And historically, much of the early research, over a hundred years ago, into the coca leaf was done in the universities of Lima. Their archives have valuable information for the industrialization of the coca leaf. Having a formal museum of coca in Lima is an ideal way to make use all of these coca resources for the industrialization of coca. Lima is also centrally located, in terms of flights to the main coca culture/growing regions of Bolivia and Peru, and to the southern coca communities of Colombia.
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