• Cultivation: Tagetes erecta blooms annually. Fresh flowers, which are the raw material for lutein, are harvested and sent to a processing factory.
  • Pretreatment: The ensiling method (anaerobic fermentation) is first applied to preserve the fresh flowers.
  • Processing: After ensilage, flowers are dewatered, dried, pulverised and extracted to make Marigold Oleoresin, a nonpolar oleoresin extract. which is the first crude lutein product. Lutein ester is acquired by purification of the non-polar extract; its subsequent saponification leads to the isolation of free lutein. Both lutein ester and free lutein in the form of powder, oil, or beadlets are used to manufacture dietary supplements or to enrich foods and drinks with carotenoids.
  • Fine processing: Finally, lutein with the required grade is obtained via saponification and purification of marigold oleoresin.

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