Floral Value added products for employment generation
Author: Ritu Jain
Division of Floriculture and Landscaping,
ICAR- Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110 012
Flowers provides opportunity to convert them into exquisite value added products directly from fresh flowers like garland, bouquet, flower arrangements or after drying the flowers making different dried flower products like pot pourri, wreath, painted gourds or after processing like rose water, gulkand, gulroban, perfumes, essential oil , insect repellants, cosmetics, etc. Besides this a number of pigments like xanthophylls, carotenoids, luteins, anthocyanins, etc. which have neutraceutical properties and pharmaceutical compounds are also prepared from the flowers. The value addition results in more acceptable quality products for the domestic and export market and hence ensures high premium to the producer. Moreover, value addition technology can help in avoiding wastage during the glut period and farmers involved in the flower cultivation can earn better remuneration. Preparation of value added products helps in employment generation at producer level, wholesaler level or at industrial level. It is a good source income generation by self employment. There are various types of value added products which can be prepared either by practice or by obtaining training of making these products. The value added products can be classified into three categories namely:
1. Fresh Flower Products
2. Dried Flower Products
3. Processed Flower Products
1. FRESH FLOWER VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS:
It includes two types of flower arrangements; firstly cut flower arrangements like bouquets, baskets, bunch, buttonaire, corsage etc.; secondly loose flower products like garland, floral strings, pomanders, wreaths, floral jewelry etc.
1.1 Cut Flower arrangements: Floral arrangement is not only a mode of value addition to flowers but holds the key to the ultimate fate of the commercial flower industry. Cut flowers can be used for making various flower arrangements with fillers. Flowers like roses, carnation, chrysanthemum, Lilium and other high value crops are suitable for making different type of flower arrangement. The flower arrangements can be Japanese style of arrangements namely ikebana, moribana ; English style like upright, slanting, regular, irregular, curved shape, Hogarth S shape etc.
1.2 Flower Bouquets: A flower bouquet is a collection of flowers in a creative arrangement. Flower bouquets can be arranged for the decor of homes or public buildings, or may be handheld. Handheld bouquets are classified by several different popular shapes and styles, including nosegay, crescent, and cascading bouquets. Flower bouquets are often given for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. They are also used extensively in weddings. Bouquets arranged in vases or planters for home decor can be arranged in either traditional or modern styles.
1.3 Rangoli: Generally the rangoli(drawing patterns at the entrance) is made up of colours but keeping in view the eco friendly nature, the loose flowers are used to make rangoli. In place of artificial colours, different coloured flowers are used; for creating green colour either turf grass clippings or foliage clippings are used.
1.4 Garlands: The garlands are used for various auspicious occasions and religious functions or festivals. These are prepared by tying the flowers togethers with the help of needle in a string or thread by using one type or different types of flowers. Sometimes foliage can also be added with flowers to make garlands. The flowers mostly used for making garlands are roses, chrysanthemum, marigold, jasmine, tuberose, orchids etc.
1.5 Floral jewelry: The floral jewelry concept has become very popular among brides especially in metropolitan cities on mehandi ( Heena)event of marriage, as the floral jewelry will be matching to dress and light in weight, convenient to use and there are no chances of jewelry theft. Garlands, floral bangles, crowns, ear rings, gajra, veni are also important adornments used as a part of floral jewelry. The bangles may be made of jasmine, tuberose, chandani, orchids or marigold. The crown is mostly made up of tuberose flowers. The gajra and venis are used to decorate hairs and made of flowers like crossandra, barleria, jasmine, tuberose, champa, chrysanthemum, gomphrena etc.
1.6 Wreath : It is a band of flowers or foliage intertwined into a ring, usually placed on a grave as a memorial or worn on the head as a crown or a mark of honour.
1.7 Buttonhole/ boutonniere: These are generally worn by man in the lapel of a coat and can also be worn by women. It is a miniature flower arrangement prepared by using single small flower like rose or orchid along with filler like thuja leaf.
1.8 Corsage: A flower or small arrangement of flowers worn by a person as a personal ornament. Typically worn by women on special occasions (as, at a ball or an anniversary celebration), a corsage may be worn pinned to the chest, or tied to the wrist. It is usually larger or more elaborate than a boutonniere.
2. DRY FLOWER VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS:
Dry flower value added products includes dried flower arrangements, products of press dried flowers and pot pourries etc. India is one of the leading countries in the dry flower exports and major export destinations of Indian dry flower products are Europe, USA and Asian countries.
2.1 Dry flower arrangement: Dry flowers may be arranged in dry vases just as fresh cut flowers are arranged. They may be arranged in bouquets or wall displays after fastening them to decorative bands. Pressed leaves and flowers may be laminated (which extends the life of the product) and arranged in an album. Dried flowers should be handled with care since they are more delicate than fresh flowers. Flowers can be dried with a high precision and they look like natural fresh flowers but can be cherished for a longer period of time. The dried flowers are gaining popularity rapidly as the fresh flowers are susceptible to post harvest diseases and have short vase life even we use best post harvest technique. By different methods of drying wide range of flowers can be used for drying purpose, but there are certain flowers which can be dried with much ease and can be utilized easily in making the dried flower products and flower arrangements. e.g. Helichrysum, Delphinium, Helipterum, Amaranthus, Nigella, Carathmus , Gypsophilla and Rosa etc.
2.2 Floral Jewelry: Orchid flowers are widely used in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia to electroplate with gold and platinum to make exquisite jewelry. India has enormous potential to diversify in to such avenues to exploit the vast genetic resources and expert craftsmanship available in the country.
2.3 Floral gifts: The advent of internet and cheap air travel has opened up the avenues to place and deliver floral arrangements as personal gifts across the country. Floral bouquets are presently prepared at the major production centers and are shipped to major cities in the country as value added services to cater the needs of the floral gifts sector.
2.4 Pot pourri: It is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material, used to provide a gentle natural scent in houses. It is usually placed in a decorative wooden bowl, or tied in small bags made from sheer fabric. Dried flowers are a common component of potpourris. The basis of a potpourri is the aromatic oils found within the plant. Two kinds of potpourri can be made - dry and moist. The best potpourris have a subtle, natural scent that comes from all natural ingredients: dried flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, barks, woods, resins, and spices. Individual ingredients contribute aroma, texture, colour, and/or bulk. Rose petals, gomphrena, marigold petals, lotus pods, are ideally suitable for making pot pourris .
2.5 Candle making: Dry flowers also add beauty to the candles. It can be done by just adding dried flowers to the outside of plain candles. Or simply place crushed dried flowers on wax paper and then pour a little melted wax over the flowers, then roll the candle in the flowers.
2.6 Press dried flower products: It includes greeting cards, bookmarks, paper weights, wall hangings, table tops, table mats, etc. The flowers and leaves are dried by herbarium method and finally pasted with fevicol in artistic manner. To add more value to these products petal embedded handmade paper can be used as base material.
2.7 Petal embedded handmade paper: With the ban on the use of plastic bags across the country there is good demand for handmade paper bags. The surplus flower petal waste can be added to the pulp while making the handmade paper to create some of the exquisite stationery items used for making various items including the bags. In the recent years it has gained a lot of popularity among people who are looking for something unique and exquisite as well as due to ban on polythene bags. It is made with all wood free materials and real flower petals are embedded in the paper during the making process. This gives the paper that exclusive look. On beautiful textured handmade sheets petals are embedded and this adds grace and beauty.
3. PROCESSED FLOWER PRODUCTS :
Processed products include essential oils, absolutes, concrete, petal jam (rose, rhododendron), jelly, ready to serve beverages, wine, floral tea, rose hip juice, poultry feed, insect repellent, floral dyes, petal embedded handmade paper, cosmetics like calendula cream, rose water, rose cream etc.
3.1 Essential oil: Essential oil is extracted from the petals of various types of fragrant flowers like rose, jasmine, tuberose, etc. through steam distillation. Top most flowers yielding essential oils are Rose, Jasmine, Tuberose, Narcissus, Marigold and Calendula.
3.2 Absolute : Absolute is highly concentrated, entirely alcohol soluble and usually liquid perfume material obtained by alcohol extraction of concrete or from fat extracts of plant material.
3.3 Concrete: It is a non – purified form of essential oil obtained mostly by means of solvent extraction where the essential oils, plant pigments and waxes are present.
3.4 Gulroban/Gulroghan: It can be prepared by maceration of rose flowers with warm sesame seed oil. This product gets ready by adsorption of volatile oil of rose petal into any other vegetable oil like sesame, coconut etc. it is used as hair oil, in aromatherapy and for body massage etc.
3.5 Gulkand (Rose petal jam): Gulkand, a general tonic of Ayurveda, is the most delicious Ayurvedic preparation prepared by using Rose petals. It is also naturally rich in calcium and has antioxidant activity
3.6 Dyes from Flowers: Many native flowers possess valuable pigments, which can be isolated and used for varied applications including dying the fabric and paper. Flowers are rich in Anthocyanins, Flavonoids, Carotenoids and Xanthophyll pigments that are used in food, beverage, textile, paper and confectionery industries.
3.7 Floral products: Flowers are widely used in making some of the exquisite edible products that include squash (rose, rhododendron), pankhuri (rose, marigold), rose water and gulkand (rose), tea (rose and chrysanthemum), jam and marmalade (rose petals) and wine (rhododendron).
3.8 Pankhuri: Dried Rose petals called Pankhuri are used during the hot weather for preparing cool drinks. Rose petals are used in cooking, which increases its flavour and make it even more delicious. It is also used in making floral cards as well as in pot pourris.
3.9 Sharbat (Syrup): Rose syrup is made from an extract of flower petals like rose, rhododendron etc. by adding sugar to it. In the United States, this syrup is used to make rose scones/cakes and marshmallows.
3.10 Floral Tea : Rose petals and hips (berries) are used to make rose tea, which is high in vitamin C. Rose tea contains other vitamins and compounds that may help stomach problems, such as bladder infections and diarrhea. Rose petals contain an astringent, tannin, and can be used to control bleeding. Besides this flower petals of chrysanthemum, chamomile and jasmine are used for making floral tea.
3.11 Bathing and other body care products: The best herbal baths includes dried flowers. Dried flowers are added directly in bathwater, or made in form of herbal infusion. Many other dried flowers are also the basis of many lotions, toners, facial steams, masks, herbal hair rinses, and sprays.
3.12 Pharmaceutical compounds: Due to globalization international competition is increasing, people are becoming more conscious, therefore use of natural ingredients is increasing in food and pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, the flowers compounds like, vincristine, catharanthine, are being used in pharmaceutical industry for cancer treatment. Similarly Vitamin C is isolated from rose fruits (rose hips) and is marketed as rose hip vitamin C used for the cure of scurvy.
3.12 Nutraceutical compounds: Human body is not programmed to synthesize some of the vital nutrients like lutein which possess curative properties to cure blindness. Deficiency of lutein deprives nutrition to retina of human eye and causes blindness. Marigold and calendula flowers are some of the richest sources of lutein. The pigments especially carotenoids extracted from the flowers are mixed in the poultry feed to intensify the yellow colour in egg yolk and flesh colour of broiler chicken and increase the lutein content which is good for health. The pigments are also used in the food industry as natural colour.
There is a tremendous scope of converting the flowers into different value added products depending upon the need, desire and condition of the flowers. Moreover, the fresh and dried flower products can be used even for interior decoration. Since the products are made by flowers and are natural, therefore, there is a great market value for such products. Hence, value addition provides an opportunity of employment generation to earn money and making profit .
About Author / Additional Info:
I am working as a scientist