It’s a manufacturing unit off the National Highway No.2 at Madhura in the Bhabua district of (Bihar). The project is backed by a group of highly motivated industry experienced professionals having expertise in botanical extraction, application and marketing of over two decades. The work on the state-of-the art unit is continuing on a rapid scale.
No it doesn't mean anything. We liked it because it seems to have a mystery around it.
The project has been prepared and appraised by M/s Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), one of the leading professional project consultants in the country. IL&FS is also the statutory Project Management Agency to this project on behalf of the Government of Bihar which has sanctioned a substantial grant to the project.
We plan to manufacture botanical actives or extracts. Besides, we also have FMCG products, Healthcare products and Personal Care products in the pipeline. You can visit our website (www.lamabear.com) to learn more.
Yes, sure. These extracts are fundamental ingredients for manufacturing any kind of health conscious products of food & beverage, nutrition & health and personal care & hygiene industries.
The technology is called supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) in which high pressure C02 is used to extract bio-actives from medicinal plants and herbs.
Yes. SFE is superior to the existing hazardous chemical solvent extraction. It’s nature-fresh. Has no chemical residues, no pathogens, no heavy metals, and importantly has extended shelf-life.
The most common use today is the decaffeination of coffee and tea, extraction of hop components for beer flavouring, and extraction of active ingredients, essential oils, flavours and aromas from botanicals including spices. SFE can also remove residual organic solvents or impurities, like pesticides from final active ingredients.
Yes. Chemical solvent extraction is on its way out today. In fact, it has happened in the First World. Developed countries like USA, the European Union and Japan who are large scale consumers and processors of botanical extracts have opted for SFE. Chemical solvent extraction is banned in these countries. India has yet to wake up to it. Stricter safety regulations in the developed countries regarding the use of organic solvents (e.g. hexane) and zero tolerance for residual chemicals in the final product to address safety, health and environmental issues is forcing the natural product industry to go the SFE way.
The technology has been around for quite a long time now. We are only introducing the technology in the Eastern part of India.
Yes. Despite higher capital investment of SFE technology due to the need for high-pressure equipment, the use of inexpensive Co2 solvent, reduction in post processing steps, clean up and safety issues like effluent treatment it actually results in lower operating costs. Initially, SFE was best applied to high value, low volume products, but over the time it has proved to be cost effective for low value, high volume products as well.
Is it true that India is the world’s largest exporter of natural extracts processed through traditional technology but these are increasingly being debarred in developed markets?
Yes, due to the presence of solvent residues, pathogens and other impurities. Foreign firms prefer sourcing raw material from India and elsewhere and process them. This way we loose heavily in earning foreign revenues.
Yes. That’s our biggest plus point. As you know our unit is located at the foothills of Kaimur Hills--a part of Vindhyas and Nilgiris ranges—which according to ASSOCHAM Study Report 2010 supplies about 30% of India’s exotic organically grown herbs. In fact, we are uniquely placed unlike others in similar business.
According to ASSOCHAM Study Report April 2010, the market in India is currently estimated at `7500Crores (`75 billion) and is increasing at a compounded annual growth rate of over 20%. It is expected that market will reach `15000Crores (`15 billion) by 2015. Considering India’s rich resource in this area, the present share is considered very meager. A quick estimate of the potential reveals that India can generate raw stock of around `300 billion and easily achieve around `150 billion value added products.
According to Assocham India’s exports of natural extracts have reached a value of US$100 million a year. About 60% of this is crude material which means it will be manufactured into products outside India. Only 30% is finished product is shipped abroad, and the remaining 10% is partially prepared products to be finished in the foreign countries. Thus, India is hardly able to exploit even 50 % of its potential. Interestingly, both raw materials and finished extracts have ready markets, globally.
The SFE derived Sesamin compound from Sesame commands over US$1200/Kg in the global market today. Even the most conservative price ofUS$1000/Kg puts our revenue calculation of 60 MT botanical actives at more than ` 372 Crore (60,000 Kg *US$1000* `62). The export earnings for 100% Export Oriented Unit (EOU) is 100% exempted under Section 10A & 10B of the Income Tax Act.
Yes, ours is a 100% Export Oriented Unit (EOU). We endeavour to market SFE botanical actives in the global markets including USA and Europe. A Japan-based multi-national firm has shown interest in our products.
SFE technology is entirely environment friendly due to the reduction in post processing steps, clean up and safety issues. Thanks to no-tolerance towards effluent treatment it actually results in lower operating costs. Supercritical fluids such as water and carbon dioxide are substances that are compatible with the earth's environment.
We are in the process of forming farmers’ collective in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Our representatives visit land owning farmers who have been traditionally growing food crops. The Company enters into a binding agreement which is a win-win approach for both. The farmers opting to grow medicinal plants and spices for us are assured of good seeds and consultancy in growing and harvesting techniques. The assured price is much more than what farmers have been earning from food crops. Members of the Farmers' Collective are likely to benefit from crop insurance. We are looking forward to have around 1000 acres by the end of the year.
Yes. We have plans to launch health & nutrition conscious food & beverage, healthcare and Personal Care FMCG products. In addition, we will have a Cryogenic grinder.
Studies have shown that during conventional grinding, solid foods, spices and herbs lose more than 60 per cent of their natural volatile oils containing aroma, flavour, nutrient and medicinal values. Because when grinding process increases the temperature to more than 45°C, spices and herbs start losing their value. Cryogenic grinding, also known as freezer milling, freezer grinding, and cryo-milling, is the act of cooling or chilling a material and then reducing it into a small particle size. Cryogenic grinding ensures retention of all these properties.
Yes, why not? Studies have shown that traditional grinding can reduce volatile components and heat sensitive constituents in herbs and food crops, thereby reducing its nutritional value. To give you an example about 30 years back village women used to grind their atta and spices at home thus retaining its flavour and medicinal properties. Then, there were less people falling sick or complaining of joint pains or lifestyle health conditions like diabetes, BP,etc.
Yes, that’s very true. We are trying to build a community where the farmers not only gets good prices for his efforts but ensured of good health. If the farmer prospers he will not be forced to migrate to cities and live in filthy slums. Hospitals, schools and colleges will be ensured in his immediate neighbourhood. You can say we’re a socially responsible manufacturing unit.
Yes, we are. Just for the record representatives from the Haridwar-based Patanjali Group visited our plant site recently. Talks are on to set up some high value projects handled by Lama Bear and Patanjali jointly.