Banda Aceh – Patchouli plants (Pogostemon cablin) can be processed to produce patchouli oil as a fixative solution (fragrance binding agent) for various perfume mixture. Indonesia provides no less than 90% raw patchouli oil, and targeted to be able to export more fractionated patchouli oil due to the molecular distillation and fractionation devices made by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) given to Atsiri Research Center, Science and Technology Center for Patchouli College, Syiah Kuala University, Aceh.
Minister of Research and Technology/Chairman of National Agency for Research and Innovation Bambang Brodjonegoro expressed his appreciation to BPPT because they are not only able to learn the distillation and fractionation procedures as reverse engineering efforts but also able to create innovations by producing the devices for raw patchouli oil from Aceh.
“We hope BPPT could direct the innovations. We hope the technology transfer and reverse engineering could expand the technology mastery in Indonesia as well as producing more value-added, which are the innovations that could support the technology transfer or reverse engineering,” said Minister Bambang on the 2020 BPPT Submission of Work Meeting Result Formulation and the Inauguration of Molecular Distillation and Fractionation Unit of Atsiri Research Center, Science and Technology Center for Patchouli College, Syiah Kuala University, Banda Aceh on Friday (28/2).
In the occasion, Minister Bambang hoped the distillation and fractionation devices will be a blessing for the Aceh’s patchouli farmers because patchouli leaves they used to sell as raw patchouli oil now could be processed to be fractionated patchouli oil with not too volatile and higher selling price. By processing the patchouli leaves in Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia could sell the perfume base solution directly to world class perfume brands without going through the processing abroad.
“This is a blessing because as farmers they only have one hope, people buying their products. There’s a buyer guarantee because patchouli oil is becoming valuable, highly requested by many business people, not only in Aceh and Indonesia but also globally. These buyers make their lives more comfortable, wealthier, and motivate them to be more serious in developing their plants and keeping the quality of the plants to be harvested,” said Minister Bambang.
Raw patchouli oil used to be exported to several countries to be processed by those countries to be fractionated patchouli oil. With this distillation and fractionation device, Unsyiah could process 24 tons of patchouli leaves per year to be fractionated patchouli oil, both heavy fractionation (content of 60 percent) for fixation solution or perfume’s base solution and light fractionation (between one and two percent) for the base solution of medicated oil, liquid soap, and many other aromatic solution-based health products.
“Thank you to fellow researchers, especially from Syiah Kuala University and supported by BPPT which has been tirelessly increasing the value-added and quality from the research downstreaming and we hope the same spirit spread to many other commodities in Aceh, not only in Banda Aceh, but in the whole Province of Aceh. The more downstreamed commidities, the more improve the economy,” said Minister Bambang.
Atsiri Research Center, Science and Technology Center for Patchouli College, Syiah Kuala University, which also manage the Nilam Innovation Park (Nino Park) is currently not only able to process patchouli leaves to be superior seedlings of patchouli plants and cultivating organic certified patchouli whose demand is starting to increase from European countries.
Also attending the event is the Head of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) Hammam Riza, the Rector of Syiah Kuala University (Unsyiah) Samsul Rizal, the Head of Atsiri Research Center, Science and Technology Center for Patchouli College, Syiah Kuala University (ARC PUI-PT Nilam Aceh Unsyiah) Syaifullah Muhammad, and the echelons and employees of the Ministry of Research and Technology/National Agency for Research and Innovation, BPPT, and Unsyiah.
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Ministry of Research and Technology/National Agency for Research and Innovation