Mr. Kodimule Shyam Prasad, the founder and managing director of Bangalore based Vidya Herbs Pvt Ltd, one of the leading manufacturers of plant extracts and essential oils, has been doing a commendable job in promoting the natural chemistry products for use in the healthcare and food industry. A first-generation entrepreneur, Prasad started his career as a chemist in a pharmaceutical company in 1990 but quit his job after five years to enter the domain of Natural Chemistry.
Prasad did his Masters in Natural Product Chemistry and wanted to apply the knowledge in business thus began his journey of establishing a trading firm for the buying and selling of botanical extracts. In 2004, he eventually ventured into manufacturing by setting up Vidya Herbs in a small manufacturing facility on a 10,000 sq ft land. Today Vidya Herbs employs over 600 people in India across its six factories - five in Karnataka and one in Khammam, Telangana. The company uses advanced technology and has in-house research and development facilities that focus on production systems, systems control, quality control, and the more visible precise mechanical automotive component elements
An inspirational leader, Prasad has ably steered Vidya Herbs for over a decade to emerge as one of the leading manufacturers of herbal and botanical extracts. “Success is not a destination. Success is a Journey. I never dreamt about success, I worked for it,” says Prasad. “Tenacity, strategic thinking, staying passionate and focused on obtaining goals I set for myself, is the primary reason for my business success. If I could do one thing differently, it would be to listen to my instincts.” The company’s dedication to quality and commitment to nature has been intrinsic to all its manufacturing processes and extracts since the beginning. With its global presence, Vidya Herbs provides extracts from the best ingredients nature offers to companies worldwide. It has a presence in markets like the USA, Europe, UK, Korea, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and the UAE.
The company’s supercritical extraction facility, solvent extraction facilities with well-equipped state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities is backed by a very strong quality control team. Vidya Herbs has successfully completed USFDA site inspection for their herbal extract manufacturing facility based out of Bangalore. The inspection confirmed the site to be compliant with the principles and guidelines of USFDA’s Quality System/Current Good Manufacturing Practices.
Chilli extraction and Oleoresin unit
This year Vidya Herbs’ Chilli extraction and Oleoresin unit in Mahabubabad, Telangana, spread over 16 acres, became operational. Chilli oleoresin is a kind of oily liquid extracted from chilli. Its main components are capsanthin and capsorubin. Commercially produced chilli oleoresin vary in their pigment content and the colour value ranges. Paprika Oleoresin from capsicum is a natural dye used as food colorant and flavour enhancer including in pharmaceuticals. The colour content of the oleoresin is proportional to the pigment concentration of raw material used.
Chilli oil and Oleoresin are extracted by three different methods. Oleoresins are obtained from spices by extraction with a non-aqueous solvent followed by removal of the solvent by evaporation. The second, supercritical fluid extraction process is essentially limited to supercritical carbon dioxide (SCFCO2) extraction since carbon-dioxide has the advantages of being inexpensive and nontoxic, moreover its critical point is easily reached. The third steam extraction process is used for extraction of oils from different plants. Most oils are extracted using steam distillation, during which the plant material is permeated with steam.
‘Berry to Cup’ coffee venture
Vidya Herbs has a Coffee Curing facility on a 10 acre campus in Chikmagalur, heartland of Indian coffee in the Western Ghats. Coffee is grown under 3 tiers of shade and has a unique ecosystem. Several fruits and spice crops like Pepper, Cardamom, Citrus, Vanilla, Silver Oak are grown along with Coffee.
In less than two years, this modern facility, with a plant of 20,000 MTS per year capacity, has helped the company rank among the top 5 coffee bean exporters from India. “We are highly passionate about ethically sourcing the superior quality coffee beans, processing, and roasting them with great care keeping quality in thoughts, word and deed and improving the quality of lives of people who work in coffee farms,” Prasad states.
The modern equipment in the coffee facility is designed to achieve required quality parameters and has been built to have minimum / no manual intervention from the time of feeding. The plant is equipped with several high tech machines like the versatile cleaning machines from Buhler India (German technology) for cleaning of raw green coffee, world famous coffee roaster Leogap of “Probat” (Brazil), aroma recovery system from Flavourtech, Australia, stainless steel insulated columns (percolators) for coffee extraction. In addition, the plant has an evaporator system and spray drier tower from one of the reputed suppliers in India.
The company has been working continuously to bring in value added coffee products in the market. One of its new products is the green coffee extract CGA-7, now primed for the US market. Formulated for metabolic health benefits, CGA-7 is standardized to have high-purity chlorogenic acid. Results of a study conducted by the company and peer-reviewed in SAGE Open Medicine journal, indicated that the CGA-7 usage helped to significantly decrease body weight, body mass index, fat mass, and percentage in body fat compared to the placebo group.
Insta coffee blends
The company has also expanded its coffee vertical with a state-of-art Instant Coffee Plant with an inbuilt modern laboratory to enable the direct control of all analysis from Procurement, Production till Dispatch of product. Insta blends are the combination of different beans in order to get a good balanced blend. The prominent blends are from Vietnam, Uganda, Peru, and different origins.
For brewed coffee lovers, Vidya Coffee offers ready-to-use, specially formulated, rich, coffee decoction that is concocted into perfection by coffee experts.
Probiotic and Decaffeine unit in Hassan
The new Probiotic and Decaffeine facilities coming up in Hassan Pharmaceutical SEZ, India, will help the company broaden its portfolio in the coming years. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have a wide range of therapeutic benefits and are being used to modulate immunity, lower serum cholesterol, treat atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, etc. Increased commercial interest in exploiting the proposed health attributes of probiotics has contributed significantly to the growth and expansion of this market sector.
The market for decaffeinated drinks, which typically contain 1–2% of the original caffeine content, and sometimes as much as 20%, has been growing rapidly worldwide. Both coffee and tea have tannins, which are responsible for their astringent taste, Decaffeination of tea requires more care to maintain tannin content than decaffeination of coffee to preserve this flavor. Preserving tannins is also desirable as it accelerates blood clotting, reduces blood pressure, decreases the serum lipid level, and modulates immune responses.
Marketing and research
Vidya Herbs takes pride in delivering research-based natural products to improve the quality of life. In keeping with its objective, the company constantly strives to create exciting new products at its 36000 sq. ft R&D Center for Excellence within a two-acre campus, manned by highly qualified and skilled experts. Given the company’s large production capabilities, 3 extraction facilities, customised manufacturing and offices around the world, Vidya Herbs is able to provide quick and reliable services.
Vidya Herbs is the recipient of several awards in the Agriculture, Research and Dietary Supplement category. Its turmeric extract product – Puremeric Stain Free Tech was awarded the Gold Innovation award at the International Spice Conference 2019 for the innovative product developed by the in-house team.