Herbs Processing Technology

Market Prospect Overview

I will talk about the converse engineering of production factor ( herbs) to join with the standard of global market. Indonesia’s market share potensial grew significantly, the health food supplements market grew 509% between 2002 and 2005. For the near future, sales prospects look good, with steady growth projected in the range of 15% to 25% over the next two years. The market for dietary supplements (excluding traditional Indonesian herbs or jamu) was estimated to be $260 million in 2006, exhibiting a growth rate of 25%. Increasing awareness of preventative health measures has created a larger demand for a variety of health food supplements.

I won’t discuss about the sales prospect of “Jamu” category, I’m going to choose the “Standarized Herbs” and phytopharmaca category. The future of both “ready to use” herbs looks good for next decade, as long as the Indonesian’s entrepreneur have a good strategy to fullfill the requirement of global standard production, and off course, to meet the market demand. In 2003, the Asian market for herbal supplements and herbal medicines (excluding Japan) brought in $2.4 billion in sales, which rose to $5.8 billion in 2004 and $6 billion in 2005. Today, the Asian market (excluding Japan) is estimated to be worth about $6.4 billion. This increase is expected to continue. The European market for herbal supplements and herbal medicines is currently worth $7.4 billion. An analysis based on data from IMS Health put the global European OTC market for herbal drugs at approximately $4.95 billion in 2003. Sales development was $7.1 billion in 2003 and fell to $6.9 billion in 2004 due to poor economic performance in many European countries, health reforms and changing regulations in Germany, the largest European market. By 2005, sales development recovered slightly and rose to $7.1 billion.

Searching For Active Ingredients

The search for new active ingredients has a long history in the pharmaceutical industry, but less so in the nutraceutical and food industries. The database features tens of thousands of plants, fractionated and tested in over 100 bio-assays. Many of them are food plants and can therefore be used for the discovery of new active compounds. The herbs and botanicals markets around the world are still far from realizing their full potential. New ingredients and new benefits for known ingredients are still being discovered, a sign that the full potential of the market has not yet been realized.

Processing Technology

I tried to simplify the process with four stages; extraction, concentration, drying, and agglomeration. First, let’s begin with the :
Extraction Process
There’s similar production process of instant coffee and food supplement. The difference will located on the end of process, regarding the dosage level of herbs itself. A best product are beginning from best extract. The extraction method will consider the character of chemical substance within herbs, the thermal sensitive substance will have non heating extraction process. We divide into 2 kind of extraction process; Batch Extraction Process ( Non Heat Sensitive Substance) and Percolation ( Heat Sensitive Substance)
a. Percolator

The lackness of percolation is time consuming process. The conventional extraction process ( Batch Extraction Process) will reduce the time until 50%.
b. Batch Extraction

Below are the main principles of batch extraction method. Water is directed through the ground coffee in two stages. The process results in two completely separate extract fractions, aroma and hydrolysis. After the process is completed, the extract is filtered and centrifuged.

Below are the picture of batch extraction from various side of view :

The second stage is
Concentration Process
Concentration serves the dual purpose of increasing the solids content in the extract prior to freeze or spray drying, and making the process as economical as possible.

The third stage is
Spray Drying
The most economic method for producing soluble coffee is spray drying, which results in free-flowing and agglomerated/granulated powders.
The final result of spray drier is various kind of powder ( and agglomerat), such as picture below :

The spray drying machine :

The nozzle

The particle transformation picture in microscopic scale

The overall system

Spray drying is a very fast method of drying due to the very large surface area created by the atomization of the liquid feed and high heat transfer coefficients generated. The short drying time, and consequently fast stabilization of feed material at moderate temperatures, means spray drying is also suitable for heat-sensitive materials. As a technique, spray drying consists of four basic stages:

a. Atomization

A liquid feed stock is atomized into droplets by means of a nozzle or rotary atomizer. Nozzles use pressure or compressed gas to atomize the feed while rotary atomizers employ an atomizer wheel rotating at high speed.
b. Drying

Hot process gas (air or nitrogen) is brought into contact with the atomized feed guided by a gas disperser, and evaporation begins. The balance between temperature, ow rate and droplet size controls the drying process.
c. Particle formation

As the liquid rapidly evaporates from the droplet surface, a solid particle forms and falls to the bottom of the drying chamber.
d. Recovery

The powder is recovered from the exhaust gas using a cyclone or a bag lter. The whole process generally takes no more than a few seconds.
The final stage is
Different markets require different types of convenient soluble coffee.Agglomeration involves dispersion of the fine spray dried powder (or powder mixes) in air, rewetting it by mixing it with a mist of water and vapour and finally a gentle impacting to form the right size of light, open and stable agglomerates with point-to-point contact. The agglomerates are then dried, cooled and classified to the desired Particle Size Distribution (PSD). Fines and broken-up oversize material are internally processed.
Material handling during the agglomeration process itself is specially controlled according to desired properties of the end-product. The final agglomerated product is instant and free-flowing. A Particle Size Distribution (PSD)in the 250 to 1250 micron range is possible.

The machine picture


The continues system of production ( after extraction) can be concluded with this scheme :

Article by :

Maximillian Heartwood

Machine by :

GEA Niro
GEA Process Engineering A/S
Gladsaxevej 305 – P.O. Box 45 – 2860 Søborg, – Denmark

NB :

Sorry, I’ve to write it in english, in order to get international acknowledgement, hahaha ^_^ .

But, don’t worry, I choose Indonesian as title, cool is’nt it ?



  1. Ping-balik: Proses Produksi Kopi « Pharmacy Business; an overview of pharmacy related and healthcare industry

  2. shivabizconn

    Deswal Engineers provides manufacturers and suppliers Rotary for herbal extraction and Rotary for Rubber Reclaim.

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