Purdue professor gets grant to delve into mint's secrets

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University professor is delving into the secrets behind how mint plants produce the fragrant oils that give a fresh-smelling kick to a wide spectrum of products.

Professor of chemistry Natalia Dudareva will use her $1.4 million National Science Foundation grant to identify chemical compounds and how they form in 14 mint species.

That research is intended to allow researchers to produce those compounds and boost their levels in mint plants.

Her work is part of a research project led by Michigan State University plant biologist Robin Buell, who received a $5.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for mint research.

Buell says mint belongs to one of the most fascinating families of plants, including peppermint and spearmint. Those plants' oils are used in wide range of products.

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