This development is designed to triple the company’s curcumin capacity and maximise its efficiency and output, and at the same time reduce waste.
The company has been capitalising on the curcumin market, the value of which is expected to reach US$84.3m by 2022.
Arjuna began work on the new turmeric extract plant in August last year, with commercial production to begin this month.
Chairman and MD PJ Kunjachan said, “Buyers of curcumin extracts have become acutely aware of possible contamination in turmeric extract formulations. The new plant is (fully) automated and ready to meet the growing demand for this well-researched, healthful ingredient.”
Depending on the variety, turmeric crops typically need six to nine months before they are ready for harvest. At maturity, their leaves yellow, fade and wither, whereupon maximum rhizome yield and dry rhizomes are obtained. At harvest, the stems and leaves are cut close to the ground to maximise the vegetative material collected.
As each rhizome is manually removed, the fields are irrigated in advance to make the harvesting process quicker and easier. The turmeric rhizomes are then cleaned, and ‘fingers’ of turmeric are separated from mother rhizomes.
Arjuna's US associate, DolCas Biotech LLC, recently received self-affirmed GRAS status for the BCM-95 turmeric extract.