Kancor: A Forerunner in the Field of Global Spice Extraction and Essential Oils

Geemon Korah,Director & CEO

Geemon Korah

Director & CEO

India has always been a land of exotics; spices, diamonds, gold and fragrant oils enriched with a rich diversity in flora and fauna and a mystical charm. In 1650, India contributed 27% of the world GDP which made it attractive for colonial rule. While much of India's wealth was relocated over the next 300 years to the various empires that colonised her, with a whole range of spices, botanical extracts and oils, India remains the world leader in natural ingredients of premium quality. As a pioneer in Spice Extraction, the roots of Kancor can be traced back to 1857 Cochin.

Now a part of the Mane Group, France; one of the largest Flavour and Fragrance companies in the world, Kancor specializes in complete natural food ingredient solutions right from sustainable sourcing of raw materials, clean extracts, advanced research and formulation. Kancor's natural antioxidants under the OxiKan trademark won the prestigious IFT 2018 Food Expo Innovation awards at Chicago US, the World Beverage Innovation Award at Brau Beviale, Germany in 2016 and recognition as a leader in exports vide the Gold award by CHEMEXCIL in 2016-17 and 2017-2018.

Kancor works closely with farmers, to enrich their work and livelihoods. This sense of commitment continues in its facilities, where state-of-the-art technologies are employed in the intricate processes of extraction, distillation and the purification of actives. "Our offerings include a full range of Botanical extracts, Essential oils, Florals, Natural anti-oxidants, Natural Colours,
Culinary platforms, Delivery platforms and Organic Ingredients. Every product adheres to global standards and is certified GMP, FSSC 22000, ISO 9001, 45001, 50001, 14001, CODEX HACCP, HALAL, KOSHER-OU, FAMI-QS, RSPO, SEDEX, ORGANIC.

"Kancor has continued to invest in new facilities and technologies in Solvent & CO2 extraction, steam distillation, fractional distillation and isolation. Our teams in all locations focus on continuous improvement, 6 Sigma and TPM initiatives," says Geemon Korah, Director, CEO, Kancor. In 2019, Kancor started its sustain-able Agri initiatives with the Mentha arvensis oil in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh with a traceable supply chain involving progressive Farmers, Distillation Plant Owners and Collectors. After analysing the reasons for low productivity, Kancor worked with Central Institute for Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) enrolling 3000 marginal Mint farmers (> 2 Ha) into a sustainable Mint programme and training them on GAP (Good Agriculture Practices).

These farms are now certified for sustainable agriculture practices under FSA (Farm Sustainable Assessment) and mapped by remote sensing for traceability from the farm. These efforts have helped in addressing some of the hard-hitting problems in the mint oil supply chain viz - Substantial rise in input costs, decreasing mint oil yield per Ha, poor quality Mint suckers at a higher price, Poor Distillation technique and more. Encouraged by positive results from sustainability programmes with mint, Kancor is extending sustainable agri initiatives to more crops. ICT enabled, self-sustaining farmer engagement model of Kancor is expected to bring more sustainable and transparent Supply Chain Networks.

With a presence in over 75 countries including global distribution centres and multi-locational factories in India, Kancor is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year

Kancor has doubled its turnover in the last 4 years. 2019-20 marked the Golden jubilee year for Kancor. In the press conference conducted as part of Golden Jubilee celebrations in February 2019, Geemon Korah said, "As our commitment to bring world class products to our global customers, Kancor is investing in the latest technologies in a major pro-cessing hub adjacent to the existing facility at Byadgi. We have acquired around 50 acres of land that should cater for the next 25-30 years".

Kancor, which plans to expand both facilities in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh in 2021, is revamping its home state facility at Angamaly, Kerala with focus on R&D, New products and New Technologies. "It is our gift to our employees, stake holders and business partners," he added.