From farm-to-product: TSI acquires 1,000 acre plantation to vertically integrate ginkgo supply

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image: © iStockPhoto / fotohunter
Image: © iStockPhoto / fotohunter

Related tags Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo

TSI Group Co., Ltd. (TSI) is investing in a completely integrated “farm-to-product” growing and production platform for ingredient transparency and supply chain integrity.

The new botanical products growing and manufacturing platform is located in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, China.

The new venture elevates TSI’s manufacturing capabilities into a completely integrated “farm-to-product” growing and production platform that addresses todays pressing market demands for authenticated botanical products produced in a transparent, custody secure, completely integrated supply chain.

The first phase of the program is the acquisition of 1,000 acres of farmland dedicated exclusively for Ginkgo tree cultivation, said Joe Zhou, CEO of TSI.

“Ginkgo is a very strategic ingredient for TSI and with this acquisition we are able to extend our chain of custody controls up stream to the ginkgo trees and the farm they grow on,” ​he said. The new plantation will expand TSI’s ginkgo supply by approximately 70 MTs, Zhou told NutraIngredients-USA.

The plantation is located next to TSI’s new, state-of-the art, cGMP botanical extraction facility that is scheduled to open the summer of 2016. The facility significantly expands the company’s botanical extraction production capacity and it is designed to operate in accordance with global food, dietary supplement and pharmaceutical cGMPs, said the company.

Increasing demand for authentic ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba is one of the herbal industry’s big players, with market data putting the US Ginkgo market at an estimated $36 million. Zhou said that TSI estimates the US Ginkgo extract to be about 400MTs in the US, with an average price of $90/kg.

supply chain written
Image © iStockPhoto

It is estimated that 50 kg of dried ginkgo leaf is required to make one kg of extract, and the extract is expensive and complex to manufacture. Since costs are so high, there have been numerous reports of adulteration of ginkgo extracts dating back decades. The most common form of adulteration has been the use of quercetin and rutin to artificially enhance the flavonol glycoside content. More recently there have reports that using extracts from Sophora japonica fruit (Japanese pagoda tree) are being used to adulterate the product (Journal of Functional Foods​, 2011, Vol. 3, pp. 107-114).

“TSI is well aware of the increasing demand for authentic ginkgo extraction and supply in the US market,” ​Zhou told us. “Our vast experience in Ginkgo extraction and manufacturing technology paired with our 100% transparent supply chain will provide TSI with a clear advantage in the ginkgo market. Ultimately, we want to become a leader in the high end Ginkgo extraction business in the US and worldwide.

“Additionally, Gingko will be TSI’s first product with this concept of farm-to-product supply chain. The presumed success of this Ginkgo launch will then lead TSI to evaluate other botanical products that would be from the same supply chain concept supplying into the market.”

Ginkgo 24/6/5

Ginkgo extracts are typically standardized to contain a minimum of 24% flavonol glycosides, 6% terpene lactones, and less than 5ppm ginkgolic acids.

TSI will offer its Ginkgo products under the brand Ginkgo 24/6/5 and company confirmed that the product line will be marketed to global dietary supplement, food and Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturing companies where TSI holds a pharmaceutical license.

The company said it plans to expand the new production platform with additional botanical product offerings, all with the same level of transparency and assurances that support the Ginkgo 24/6/5 product line.

“I am thrilled to announce our totally transparent and expanded supply chain capabilities,” ​said TSI’s Zhou. “This provides us with a distinct point of differentiation at a critical time when our customers are pressing us for more and more assurances every day.”

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