Spice oils, oleoresins demand rising

G. Chandrashekhar | Updated on February 06, 2011 Published on February 06, 2011

Export has ranged between 6,600 and 6,850 tonnes in the last three years.

Given the varied agro-climatic conditions — tropical to sub-tropical to temperate — India is home to a wide variety of spices, the production of which is currently estimated at over 3.2 million tonne valued at over $4 billion. Most parts of the country grow one or other spices. While the ISO has notified as many as more 109 spices, a total of 52 have been brought under the purview of the Spices Board. That India, perhaps the world's largest producer, consumer, exporter and importer of a wide range of spices, is of course known. A significant part of the export is raw material in bulk form. Much of the processing takes place outside the country as a result of which the origin does not get the full benefit of value-addition.

While attempts for promotion of more and more processed and value-added spices continue, the country's presence in the world spice oils and oleoresins market is unmistakable. These value-added products enjoy excellent demand in the developed economies where they are used as food ingredients to enhance value and aroma of many foods. Importantly, they are standardised products, hygienic and of consistent quality.

Spice oils are volatile components present in most spices and provide the characteristic aroma of the spice. The oil is extracted by steam distillation and is often made to the specifications stipulated by the buyer depending on the varied end-use requirements of buyers. Spice oils are mostly used in food, cosmetics, perfumes and personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, mouthwash and aerosols, in addition to a variety of pharmaceutical formulations.

Wide-ranging applications

Mint oils are important value-added products that India produces and exports. India is the largest producer of mint oil and its derivatives. Because of its cooling effect, the product has wide-ranging applications including toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, candy, hair oil, perfume, cigarettes and cosmetic products.

Spice oleoresins represent the complete flavour profile of the spice.

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Published on February 06, 2011
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