For nearly 30 years, Sami Labs has been producing botanical extract ingredients in Bangalore, India. Over that time, the company has invested significantly not only in production facilities but building relationships with the farming community to ensure traceability of its offerings from farm to finished ingredients. Explore some of the facilities and farms showcased on a recent tour of Sami Labs presence in the area, and how the company’s strength in India supports its Sabinsa Corp. endeavors throughout the world.
Sami Labs is committed to producing its Curcumin C3 Complex® from sustainably-grown Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric. The company contracts with farmers in India and other countries to ensure the traceability and sustainability of its raw materials. The farms range in size from only an acre or two, up to extremely large footprints. As shown here, the farmers take pride in their land and their partnership with Sami Labs; the company contracts with its farmers to pay a set price, and honors its agreements even if the market value declines.
Sami Labs' Production Facility
At Sami Labs eight-acre production facility in Kunigal, Bangalore, more than 300 people work to ensure the highest quality raw materials yield top quality ingredients. In addition to processing turmeric for the company’s Curcumin C3 Complex, other top ingredients processed in batch production tanks, like the ones shown here, include boswellia, Coleus and black pepper.
Production Space for Pigments in Turmeric
Because the pigments in turmeric can permanently stain surfaces, there is dedicated production space for its processing. Here, the liquid from the ground root is pressed to filter out the juice for extraction.
Sami Labs' Continuous Extraction Line
Sami Labs has also invested in a unique continuous extraction line in Dobaspet, Bangalore. Made entirely of stainless steel, more than 20 tons of turmeric raw material can be extracted each day; the line can run for up to a week at a time without breaks in production, significantly increasing the quantity of C3 Complex available. However, demand has been increasing dramatically, and the company is planning to open an additional continuous extraction line in 2017.
Sami Labs and Sabinsa's Farmer Contracts
Turmeric is not the only ingredient being contract farmed for Sami Labs and Sabinsa. The company contracts with farmers for a range of herbals for its ingredients, including black pepper and Coleus forskohlii, as shown here. As with the turmeric farms, Sami Labs guarantees a fair price, even if the market value declines, and supports broader programs within the villages around the farms, such as children’s education and improved sanitation facilities.
Basic Processing of Botanicals on Site
Some basic processing of the botanicals for Sami Labs is done on site. Here, Coleus forskohlii roots are drying in the sun before being transported to the Kunigal facility in Bangalore.
Sami Labs Production for its Probiotic Ingredients
While many industry members are most familiar with Sami Labs and Sabinsa for their botanical extracts, the company is a leading producer of probiotics, with a dedicated biotechnology facility in Nelamangala, Bangalore. Sami Labs controls the entire production process for its probiotic ingredients. One of the first steps in the production of the culture takes place in the “shaker room,” where the master culture has been sub-cultured into beakers at controlled temperatures.
As the culture moves out of the beakers into larger fermentation vessels, it enters a completely closed system, from 1,000 liter tanks to the centrifuge that separates out the actives. The slurry containing the actives then moves from this production area into spray drying.
Sami Labs' Facility for Supercritical Fluid Extraction
In Nelamangala, Bangalore, Sami Labs state-of-the-art facility for supercritical fluid extraction was developed in a collaborative process between industry and academia. The company’s eco-friendly technology yields a clean extract with high bio-potency. Here, two extractors are separated by an evaporator that removes the carbon dioxide; the first extractor has separated out ginger oleoresin, while the second delivers ginger oil.
Sami Labs' Corporate Offices
Sami Labs corporate offices in Peenya, Bangalore, house not only a full contingent of customer service experts and business managers, but the core research and development. Nearly 30 Ph.D.s are on site working in labs similar to this one, with an array of equipment—from HPTLC and Mass Spec to ICP and NMR—for understanding active compounds and ensuring ingredient identity and purity.
Research and Development Facilities at Corporate Headquarters
The Research and Development (R&D) facilities at the corporate headquarters are not only focused on ingredient development, but application as well. Product developers work on prototypes to provide guidance to manufacturing partners in areas such as dietary supplements, foods/beverages, cosmetics and personal care. This dedicated lab is focused on the cosmeceutical market, applying science to Sabinsa ingredients to support their use in areas such as anti-aging or anti-acne.