Increasing taste, aroma quotient in South India

Increasing taste, aroma quotient in South India

5:28 AM, 6th September 2018
Event Coverage – Essential Oils

By Shivani Mody

Essential oils, absolutes and oleoresin have added a lot of value to the growth of the flavour & fragrance industry as well as agriculture. Today, showing great promising healing powers, various oils are used in aromatherapy for mood relaxation to reduce the side effects of aggressive therapies.

However, the use of essential oils is unregulated in the country. The imperative need has therefore been felt for growing essential oil-bearing plants and crops under the diversified farming programme, which have proved to be cash crops offering much better returns to the farmers. These were some of the discussions at the International Congress & Expo – 2018, organized by the Essential Oil Association Of India (EOAI) from 3rd to 5th August in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

The expo themed “Navigating Future of Essential Oils” also focused on India being a major producer of various essential oils and future growth potential. Consumer awareness and demand has led to more emphasis on natural oils and fragrances which are completely biodegradable and safe, mentioned the expo audience members. The conference and seminar focused on various trends, demands, availability, issues etc of essential oils and other aroma ingredients, giving many an opportunity to producers, exporters, scientists, small & medium scale manufacturers and cultivators.

Aromatic crop cultivation and processing is a proven model for regenerating mountain agriculture affected by rain-fed conditions, man-animal conflict, migration, difficult terrain and abandoned lands in Uttarakhand Himalayas, mentioned Center for Aromatic Plants (CAP).The initiatives for propagating and developing aromatic crops by CAP in a cluster approach have overcome challenges of mountain agriculture, promoted entrepreneurship amongst the farmers, improved their livelihoods and linked them with industry. Cluster-based aromatic crops have tremendous potential for ushering transformative change in the rural areas of Hindu Kush Himalayas.

Aromatic crops are some of the most profitable but under utilised crops, which have immense potential to alleviate socio-economic conditions of small and marginal farmers, informed Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine. Realising the potential of aromatic crops and aroma industry, and in order to bring a transformative change in the rural economy, market dynamics and growth opportunity, CSIR has conceptualized an aroma mission which aims to provide end-to-end technology and value-addition solutions. For success of the aroma mission, sincere participation of all stakeholders including aroma industry is required, it said.

In the last decade a lot of progress has been made in the essential oils segments due to considerable changes by the Government Of India and consistent efforts of associations such as EOAI, various CSIR Institutes Of India and other R&D labs, stated industry experts.

“Worldwide there is an increased demand for essential oils and aroma ingredients. The global industry is expected to reach $7.5 to 8.0 billion with an estimated CAGR of 8.5 percent during 2018-2023. Also India, China, Indonedia, US and Canada are major essential oil producing countries,” informed Ramesh Vaze, managing director, Kelkar Group Of Companies. “An agrarian country, India, having a conducive environment, has the potential to profitably cultivate aroma crops. Further, it can develop a large number of novel allied natural products to become a major essential oil exporting country.”

Challenges facing the essential oils industry in India are manifold which include the need for mapping of the total area under cultivation of aromatic plants, focus on R&D, especially for standardization and quality testing of essential oils to make it industry ready and international market compliant, costing of the essential oils and value-added products, noted Vaze.

“Depending on the geographical region and agro-climatic zones, our company implements cultivation of aromatic crops in India and assured cent percent buy-back of the total production for the cultivators,” added Vaze.

The event also saw more than 900 plus registered cultivators from the Southern region. Nearly 20 foreign delegates from countries such as the US, Germany, Bulgaria, Australia, Israel, Japan etc. were present at the expo, some giving a research or technology talk, while some looking at business prospects. All in all the expo gave an opportunity for advancing growth and development of the essential oils market in India.

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