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International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood

Editor-in-Chief: Faix, Oskar

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Reddening by UV Irradiation after Smoke-Heating in Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) Black Heartwood

Saori Maruyama / Futoshi Ishiguri / Minoru Andoh / Zensaku Abe / Shinso Yokota / Koetsu Takahashi / Nobuo Yoshizawa

Citation Information: Holzforschung. Volume 55, Issue 4, Pages 347–354, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: 10.1515/HF.2001.058, June 2005

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Sugi (Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) green logs with black heartwood were smoked, heated, and smoke-heated separately to improve the heartwood color. After each treatment, changes in heartwood color, pH, and extract amounts were examined. In addition, changes in heartwood color caused by UV irradiation were observed. Heating and smoke-heating of logs prevented the heartwood from discoloring to black, and the resulting color of thermally-treated heartwoods was yellow-white, whereas smoking alone allowed discoloration to black. The pH value decreased from the original 7.6 to 6.8 by smoking and to 6.5 by thermal treatment. The results obtained here suggest that a pH drop in heartwood by thermal treatment is involved in color changes of black heartwood.

When thermally-treated black heartwood was exposed to UV light, redness and yellowness increased and brightness decreased. The resulting color tone was reddish brown. The color of non-thermally-treated woods, however, showed little change. Furthermore, acetone, ethanol, and methanol extracts of thermally-treated black heartwood showed an increase in redness by UV irradiation, but the residues showed little color change. The coloring substances relating to the reddening of heartwood could be extracted with these solvents, particularly with methanol. Reddening in black heartwood by a combination of smoke-heating and UV irradiation is considered to be due to a decrease in brightness and an increase in both redness and yellowness.

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