Thursday, August 1, 2013


The late Dr H A B Parpia, who recently passed away must have been excited if alive to day by the news that India is dominating the world oleoresin market, thanks to his endeavors during late sixties to develop domestic technology for recovering the active ingredients of spices, condiments and aromatic materials. If Indian manufacturers, most of whom use the  CFTRI technology for manufacture of oleoresins from a variety of odiferous substances, are able to capture more than 60% of the world market for these concentrated flavor products, it is due to also their innovative efforts and adaption of the original CFTRI technology to keep up with global needs and standards. Three cheers to them. Here is a report from the industry itself which highlights their capabilities in this area. 

You may not realise it when you dig into a piece of chicken in, say, Kentucky and wash it down with a cola. Chances are that spice oil extracts or oleoresin of chilli from Andhra and nutmeg grown in Kerala may have given hot and tangy flavours to the meat and cola. Or, take the perfume that you spray on your body. It could be carrying the aroma of lemon grass oleoresin from Karnataka or cardamom extracts from Kerala. India dominates the global market for spice oleoresin, which is in big demand from processed food and fragrance industries that now mostly prefer natural colouring and flavouring agents to artificial ones as consumers become increasingly health conscious.

One must recall what type of trials and tribulations this industry went through in early days to commercialize the indigenous technology tailoring to the needs of foreign buyers. The original technology was developed using ethylene di chloride as the solvent which was banned because of potential health hazards. Now the technology makes use of alcohol and/or acetone as the preferred solvent while the high pressure super critical fluid carbon dioxide extraction gives a very high quality product from practically any odiferous substance with no solvent residue left behind to be bothered about. If the industry performs well keeping quality and safety as its corner stone, it is unlikely that any competitor will ever emerge to rival India's position as the number one player in the global arena. 


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