Bengaluru scientists develop new marigold variety

Arka Shubha from IIHR has 2.8 % carotene content, sought after by the pharmaceutical sector

February 10, 2021 05:24 am | Updated 05:24 am IST - BENGALURU

The Arka Shubha variety of marigold.  b.s. SATISH KUMAR

The Arka Shubha variety of marigold. b.s. SATISH KUMAR

Generally the flowers lose their value if they get spoilt either due to rain or delay in harvest. But the new variety of marigold developed by the Hessarghatta-based Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) are of value even if they get spoilt after full bloom as they can be used for extraction of crude carotene.

“All marigolds have carotene content that ranges up to a maximum of 1.4%. However, the Arka Shubha variety of marigold has high carotene content of 2.8% which is the highest content from plant source,” said Dr. Tejaswini P., principal scientist in the IIHR’s Division of Floriculture and Medicinal Plants, who led the team of scientists that developed this variety.

These flowers could be sold for ornamental purpose too like other marigold varieties. But there is also an option of using them for extracting crude carotene, she pointed out. As carotene is mainly used in pharmaceutical sector, there is always a high demand for it. Presently, India imports most of its carotene from other countries, including China. Dr. Tejaswini suggested that farmers consider this variety purely for extraction of carotene. However, it is better to take up the venture through farmers’ groups as it needed a large area for cultivation and investments on extraction, she pointed out. This also provides scope for exports, she said.

Arka Shubha variety is used in the poultry sector. Its petals could be used as poultry feed to get quality yolk, she said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.