Synthetic spearmint supplier scales up production to offer purer alternative

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Paramount Aromachem India to supply synthetic spearmint flavor L-carvone from new factory near Delhi
Paramount Aromachem India to supply synthetic spearmint flavor L-carvone from new factory near Delhi

Related tags Flavor

Paramount Aromachem India will move to a new facility near Delhi where it plans to produce half of the global demand for synthetic spearmint flavor L-carvone which is used in chewing gum.

The company claims its L-carvone is purer and cheaper than at least one of its major competitors.

Meeting half of global demand

Paramount started supplying small quantities of L-carvone at the beginning of 2012, but it is now gearing up to move to a new facility near Dehli capable of producing 2,000 MT.

The factory, which will open in November this year, will start by producing 500 MT in 2014. The company is aiming to scale up to 1,000 MT, which would satisfy 50% of global demand for the ingredient.

Jim Currie, CEO of Currie Marketing UK, the global seller and distributor for Paramount Aromachem India, told ConfectioneryNews that Paramount entered the market to offer the likes of Wrigley and Mondelez an alternative supplier.

The only two other major L-carvone suppliers are US firm Renessenz, which is owned by Pinova Holdings, and Chinese firm Wan Xiang.

Purer and cheaper, says Paramount distributor

“We have a higher purity product. The higher purity means you are getting more for your spend and a cleaner taste,” ​said Currie.

He said that Paramount’s L-carvone was cheaper and purer than most other offerings by around 0.5% - making it 99.5% pure.

Paramount’s L-carvone is derived from the oil of orange peel and produced from chemical conversion of D-Limonene.

“The old process still operated by Wan Xiang uses solvents including chlorinated solvents and the process is considered polluting,​”said Currie adding that Givuaduan and Frutarom had stopped supplying L-carvone for this reason.

Paramount uses hydrogen peroxide rather than solvents and US firm Renessenz also uses no solvents.

Spearmint crop worries

Gum makers producing a spearmint product have a choice of flavoring with spearmint oil, natural L-cavone (derived from spearmint oil), synthetic L-carvone (from citrus fruits) or combinations. L-cavone is often used to enhance spearmint oil.

Currie said:“There’s not enough spearmint crop to satisfy demand for spearmint flavour in the world.” 

Spearmint farmers are believed to be moving to other more profitable crops. Meanwhile, global demand for spearmint is rising driven by increased requirements for use in products for emerging markets.

This makes spearmint oil and natural L-carvone very expensive.

Spearmint oil is usually sold as 60% natural L-carvone and costs around $30 kg. Synthetic L-carvone is much cheaper at around $16 kg.

Related topics Ingredients Gum Emerging Markets

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