Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Synthite Industries, Kochi, a shining example of spice-based entrepreneurship from Kerala..

This article on Synthite (www.synthite.com) is basically done from an academic view point. 

Spices was what enticed the Romans, the Egyptians and the Chinese to come to Kerala for trading.. Spices have been a part of Kerala culture and traditions for millennia ... By this article we are trying to understand how a Kerala based spices company from Kochi has made it to a global brand in a commodity which Kerala has  been famous for ages ..

Synthite Industries Limited manufactures and exports spice oleoresins and essential oils. It manufactures a range of spice products, including oleoresins, essential oils, natural food colors, health ingredients, herb extracts, organic extracts, fair trade extracts, floral concretes, absolutes, and spices. The company's products are used in processed meats, savories, beverages, baked goods, sweets, confectionery products, dairy products, pickles, masalas, sauces, ketchup, seasonings, and dips for the food processing industry. Synthite Industries Limited was incorporated in 1970 and is based in Cochin, India. - Bloomberg, 21 Feb 2017.

What makes Synthite Industries in Kochi a big name in spice processing in the world ?

Chairman, Shri. C V Jacob
Kerala has been the spice capital of the world for centuries. The marketing route by sea for spices from Kerala two thousand years back to the outside world to China and Arabia was called Spice Route while the land route connecting China to the rest of the world was called the Silk Route. (Click here to know more about the spice route and silk route of 200 BC..)

When an industry thrives in Kerala, the first question that comes to our mind, is how did this happen in a land known for its labour militant policies and political irresponsibility, opportunism and instability ?

Most of the people exploit the society for their personal needs. They make use of political parties and petty politics to grab money, political clout and influence. But to know of a closely held family owned industrial group, not yet gone public, doing quite well and doing global business worth rupees one thousand and five hundred crores in Kerala is a great achievement.
Synthite Corp office at Kadayirippu, Kolencherry, Ernakulam dist.
Corporate House and Technology Centre
Kerala, the spices capital of the world ..
The only other industrial group from Kerala, bigger than Synthite would be MRF tyres group from Mammmen Mappillai Kandathil group, from Kottayam, with main operations outside of Kerala, my former employer .. The main reason why the Synthite group has been able to function well is that most of their dealings are with the Central government in Delhi than with the state government, which causes least interference. 

Separating oleoresins from spices is a technology acquired from Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, Karnataka, India and marketing is done by Synthite to major food processing companies across the world. This has made Synthite a name to reckon with globally. (Click here to know of the different spices available in Kerala, the spice capital of the world , their English names with pictures..)

What are oleoresins ?  (to know more click here
Spice oleoresins represent the complete flavour profile of the spice. It contains the volatile as well as non volatile constituents of spices. Oleoresins can be defined as the true essence of the spices and can replace whole/ground spices without impairing any flavour and aroma characteristic. Oleoresins are obtained from spices by extraction with a non-aqueous solvent followed by removal of the solvent by evaporation. Spice oleoresins guarantee superior quality of flavour and aroma. They are complete and balanced, consistent and standardised.
                                                                                                  Courtesy : Spices Board of India.

Cayenne pepper oleoresin extract ..
Oleoresins preserve the natural properties and qualities of spices in a powder form, food grade and can be mixed with food products and other products for beauty enhancement and other applications ..

Synthite, which originally started as a urethane foam company in 1970, moved to the area of oleoresins and spice processing, after acquiring technology to make oleoresins from CFTRI, Mysore. Synthite now holds 35% of global market in Oleoresins and has a turnover of INR 1500 crores, exporting to 85 countries ..

Employing about 1800 people near Kochi, Synthite presently produces over 500 products, spice based, from 6 production centres in India. They also produce from overseas company owned production centres in United States, Europe, China and Sri Lanka. In brief, it is a successful MNC from Kerala.
The new torchbearers ..

What does the future hold for this company ? Synthite, the $250 million spices processing company known for promoting environment friendly policies and a culturally diverse social lifestyle in society, is poised to make great global impact in the coming years. Our best wishes for it's great growth in the coming years, to be Kerala's truly top MNC ..

A word on entrepreneurship for prospective entrepreneurs - no time is too late ..
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."                                                                                          - Chinese proverb.
Thanks to the Western Ghats and monsoons, Kerala, the small stretch of land in the Southern tip of Asia, made famous because of the exotic spices produced there, will continue to produce the same high quality spices, plenty for the world for another thousand years ! 

The global spices market being too large and the spices kingdom of the world being Kerala, there is no better time for entrepreneurs from Kerala and India to venture into this new area, than now ..



  1. Synthite Industries proves to be an encouragement for other companies which has the ability to go green to blossom in God's own country...since Kerala is blessed with abundant varieties of faura and fauna....

  2. Oleoresins are natural form of oil and resins that can be extracted from spices and herbs. Black pepper oleoresins and paprika oleoresins are primarily used spice oleoresins in India. I recently used black pepper oleoresins to add flavour to my dish. I was so excited to taste it. You can also get different falvours of oleoresins.


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