A mighty
little flower

Cloves have a wide variety of uses. In India, the spice is used in almost every curry dish; in Europe and the USA, it is primarily used around the christmas season for meat dishes, cookies and warm beverages; in some areas in Africa, it is used to add flavor to rice dishes. Clove oil is also popular in aromatherapy and has been used in many parts of the world for centuries to help with toothaches. It’s here, in the Oral Care segment, that it plays a major role for Symrise. In Asia above all, there are few oral hygiene products that don’t contain eugenol, the primary component of clove oil.
Symrise sources the product primarily from Indonesia. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the company has linked its supply chain closely with the supplier Van Aroma and the local farmers. Together they have developed a process that will reduce the strain on resources when cultivating cloves.

Essential oils have

250 - 500

individual components

In clove oils, there are only

50 - 150

The most important component is eugenol, with a share of between

60 and 85 %

A mighty
little flower

Cloves have a wide variety of uses. In India, the spice is used in almost every curry dish; in Europe and the USA, it is primarily used around the christmas season for meat dishes, cookies and warm beverages; in some areas in Africa, it is used to add flavor to rice dishes. Clove oil is also popular in aromatherapy and has been used in many parts of the world for centuries to help with toothaches. It’s here, in the Oral Care segment, that it plays a major role for Symrise. In Asia above all, there are few oral hygiene products that don’t contain eugenol, the primary component of clove oil.
Symrise sources the product primarily from Indonesia. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the company has linked its supply chain closely with the supplier Van Aroma and the local farmers. Together they have developed a process that will reduce the strain on resources when cultivating cloves.

Essential oils have

250 - 500

individual components

In clove oils, there are only

50 - 150

The most important component is eugenol, with a share of between

60 and 85%

Sandeep Tekriwal

co-owner & CEO of Van Aroma from Indonesia

We began sourcing and processing patchouli from Sulawesi more than 10 years ago. On our many trips to the island, we noticed that there are an incredible number of clove plantations, but hardly anyone was distilling clove stems and leaves. The buds were sold, but the rest of the plant was rarely used. We started out small and spoke with the first few farmers about the fact that they could also use the leaves of the clove tree to increase their income. We now distill all of the components, even the clove bud dust that gets left behind when cleaning the buds.

There are two ideas we have pursued to make the project as sustainable as possible. First, we have expanded distillation in our factory in Kolaka and are now able to process significantly more raw materials. Secondly, we have started financing distillation equipment to the farmers on credit and teaching them how to operate the equipment directly on-site. For this, we also work closely with Symrise, one of our important customers – another example of our close partnerships here on Sulawesi. There are now around 300 farmers collecting the leaves, three of whom have their own distilleries. The project has quickly shown its value – they were able to pay off their loans within six to twelve months. And we get something out of this setup as well: good quality, sustainable, traceable and reliably available clove products that we are also able to market worldwide through our cooperation with Symrise.

“We began sourcing and processing patchouli from Sulawesi more than 10 years ago.”

Sandeep Tekriwal

co-owner & CEO of Van Aroma from Indonesia

We began sourcing and processing patchouli from Sulawesi more than 10 years ago. On our many trips to the island, we noticed that there are an incredible number of clove plantations, but hardly anyone was distilling clove stems and leaves. The buds were sold, but the rest of the plant was rarely used. We started out small and spoke with the first few farmers about the fact that they could also use the leaves of the clove tree to increase their income. We now distill all of the components, even the clove bud dust that gets left behind when cleaning the buds.

There are two ideas we have pursued to make the project as sustainable as possible. First, we have expanded distillation in our factory in Kolaka and are now able to process significantly more raw materials. Secondly, we have started financing distillation equipment to the farmers on credit and teaching them how to operate the equipment directly on-site. For this, we also work closely with Symrise, one of our important customers – another example of our close partnerships here on Sulawesi. There are now around 300 farmers collecting the leaves, three of whom have their own distilleries. The project has quickly shown its value – they were able to pay off their loans within six to twelve months. And we get something out of this setup as well: good quality, sustainable, traceable and reliably available clove products that we are also able to market worldwide through our cooperation with Symrise.

“We began sourcing and processing patchouli from Sulawesi more than 10 years ago.”
200 clove trees grow on
one hectare of land

Hamzah Toto and Supriyadi

clove farmers from Induha, Sulawesi

We have been planting, caring for and harvesting our clove trees for many years. The plant gives us a reliable source of income so that we can feed our families. We have eight and ten hectares growing cloves – about 200 trees per hectare. The plants bloom at different times, so we and our workers have to climb up to the tops of the trees on our bamboo ladders again and again to look at every bud and decide whether it is ready to harvest.

It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it because we usually get a good price. In the past few years, though, the price has fluctuated greatly, which has caused a lot of problems. That’s why we are very glad that we are able to expand our opportunities for income. When Van Aroma approached us and suggested that we should also collect the leaves, we were hesitant at first because that would have meant a lot of additional work. They demonstrated to us how to use nets for this process. This made it easier and we saw that we could really benefit from it. We were also able to acquire a distillery with the help of Van Aroma, which paid off in a very short time. We are now able to process our own harvest.

Hamzah Toto and Supriyadi

clove farmers from Induha, Sulawesi

We have been planting, caring for and harvesting our clove trees for many years. The plant gives us a reliable source of income so that we can feed our families. We have eight and ten hectares growing cloves – about 200 trees per hectare. The plants bloom at different times, so we and our workers have to climb up to the tops of the trees on our bamboo ladders again and again to look at every bud and decide whether it is ready to harvest.

It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it because we usually get a good price. In the past few years, though, the price has fluctuated greatly, which has caused a lot of problems. That’s why we are very glad that we are able to expand our opportunities for income. When Van Aroma approached us and suggested that we should also collect the leaves, we were hesitant at first because that would have meant a lot of additional work. They demonstrated to us how to use nets for this process. This made it easier and we saw that we could really benefit from it. We were also able to acquire a distillery with the help of Van Aroma, which paid off in a very short time. We are now able to process our own harvest.

200 clove trees grow on
one hectare of land

Annie Chan, Qinyi Phua,
Alice Leong

Flavorists in the Oral Care unit at Symrise Asia Pacific

As flavorists, the three of us have probably developed many hundreds of concepts for toothpaste and mouthwash. After all, it’s a complex topic. We have to understand exactly what our customers and also the consumers in the various regions and countries want. We create based on guidelines that the customers provide and in alignment with market trends and needs that our marketing helps us identify.

To develop a product, we don’t just have to know the taste and how the raw materials work, we also have to understand how these behave in different applications. The price also has to be right so that our customers will be prepared to buy our comp­ositions. This is already a particular challenge, because we traditionally use a lot of natural products.

Clove bud and leaf oil together with eugenol are essential raw materials for us – they are used in almost every single one of our recipes. In the dental hygiene segment, for example, clove provides a pleasant mouthfeel and has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. This is why, in many Asian countries, its taste is linked with dental health. In countries like Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, that taste can be quite prominent, while in China or Indonesia it serves more as a booster for freshness in the composition.

“We have to understand exactly what our customers and also the consumers in the various regions and countries want.”

Annie Chan, Qinyi Phua,
Alice Leong

Flavorists in the Oral Care unit at Symrise Asia Pacific

As flavorists, the three of us have probably developed many hundreds of concepts for toothpaste and mouthwash. After all, it’s a complex topic. We have to understand exactly what our customers and also the consumers in the various regions and countries want. We create based on guidelines that the customers provide and in alignment with market trends and needs that our marketing helps us identify.

To develop a product, we don’t just have to know the taste and how the raw materials work, we also have to understand how these behave in different applications. The price also has to be right so that our customers will be prepared to buy our comp­ositions. This is already a particular challenge, because we traditionally use a lot of natural products.

Clove bud and leaf oil together with eugenol are essential raw materials for us – they are used in almost every single one of our recipes. In the dental hygiene segment, for example, clove provides a pleasant mouthfeel and has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. This is why, in many Asian countries, its taste is linked with dental health. In countries like Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, that taste can be quite prominent, while in China or Indonesia it serves more as a booster for freshness in the composition.

“We have to understand exactly what our customers and also the consumers in the various regions and countries want.”
“We want to bolster the farmers on Sulawesi for the future so that they can earn money consistently, the natural raw materials can be grown sustainably and, at the same time, we can source the materials reliably.”

Ramkumar Venkataraman

Vice President Purchasing Asia Pacific, Scent & Care at Symrise in Singapore

The oils extracted from cloves are one of the most important natural materials in the Oral Care segment. The most important one is eugenol, but flower and leaf oils are also becoming increasingly important. They are a basic component of almost all of the products we sell in many parts of Asia. That is why a transparent and sustainable value chain is particularly important to us for this raw material.

When our long-term partner Van Aroma, who supplies us with patchouli and citronella oils in addition to clove products, approached us with an idea for a joint project, we were enthusiastic from the start. Holistic development is important to us, too. We want to bolster the farmers on Sulawesi for the future so that they can earn money consistently, the natural raw materials can be grown sustainably and, at the same time, we can source the materials reliably.

Symrise and Van Aroma have taken a number of steps to achieve this. First, we showed the first farmers how they could use nets to collect the valuable leaves, which they had previously left lying under the trees. We expanded this training to numerous communities. Then we took a look at production. We are investing in providing technical training so that people can use their own distilleries to process the cloves as well as many other products, which allows them to earn money all year. Working directly in the villages has the added benefit that the farmers get to know us, which allows a long-term partnership to grow.

Ramkumar Venkataraman

Vice President Purchasing Asia Pacific, Scent & Care at Symrise in Singapore

The oils extracted from cloves are one of the most important natural materials in the Oral Care segment. The most important one is eugenol, but flower and leaf oils are also becoming increasingly important. They are a basic component of almost all of the products we sell in many parts of Asia. That is why a transparent and sustainable value chain is particularly important to us for this raw material.

When our long-term partner Van Aroma, who supplies us with patchouli and citronella oils in addition to clove products, approached us with an idea for a joint project, we were enthusiastic from the start. Holistic development is important to us, too. We want to bolster the farmers on Sulawesi for the future so that they can earn money consistently, the natural raw materials can be grown sustainably and, at the same time, we can source the materials reliably.

Symrise and Van Aroma have taken a number of steps to achieve this. First, we showed the first farmers how they could use nets to collect the valuable leaves, which they had previously left lying under the trees. We expanded this training to numerous communities. Then we took a look at production. We are investing in providing technical training so that people can use their own distilleries to process the cloves as well as many other products, which allows them to earn money all year. Working directly in the villages has the added benefit that the farmers get to know us, which allows a long-term partnership to grow.

“We want to bolster the farmers on Sulawesi for the future so that they can earn money consistently, the natural raw materials can be grown sustainably and, at the same time, we can source the materials reliably.”

Clair Mok

Marketing Oral Care at Symrise Asia Pacific in Singapore

In Marketing, we look closely at what consumers like and what the trends are. This is what we base our decisions on when we choose to what extent we highlight ingredients in the end product. If we’re developing a new toothpaste, for example, and cloves are one of the primary components for taste as well as function, then we advise our customers to show the flower buds on the packaging. It’s always about emotions, about what we know, about the familiar. And in addition to that – and this is becoming the case more and more – there’s the aspect of naturalness.

It’s interesting here how differently a raw material is perceived. Cloves are polarizing. In some markets it’s considered to be an element of savory food, while in others it is used more in sweet foods or in beverages. Where cloves are known as a food item, then it’s a big step to oral care. The spice is more linked in people’s minds to warm, spicy dishes rather than freshness, hygiene and healthy teeth. In other regions, in contrast, cloves are known for precisely that: They are consid­­ered to be antibacterial and antioxidant, good for the gums and for white teeth.

“Cloves are polarizing. In some markets it’s considered to be an element of savory food, while in others it is used more in sweet foods or in beverages.”

Clair Mok

Marketing Oral Care at Symrise Asia Pacific in Singapore

In Marketing, we look closely at what consumers like and what the trends are. This is what we base our decisions on when we choose to what extent we highlight ingredients in the end product. If we’re developing a new toothpaste, for example, and cloves are one of the primary components for taste as well as function, then we advise our customers to show the flower buds on the packaging. It’s always about emotions, about what we know, about the familiar. And in addition to that – and this is becoming the case more and more – there’s the aspect of naturalness.

It’s interesting here how differently a raw material is perceived. Cloves are polarizing. In some markets it’s considered to be an element of savory food, while in others it is used more in sweet foods or in beverages. Where cloves are known as a food item, then it’s a big step to oral care. The spice is more linked in people’s minds to warm, spicy dishes rather than freshness, hygiene and healthy teeth. In other regions, in contrast, cloves are known for precisely that: They are consid­­ered to be antibacterial and antioxidant, good for the gums and for white teeth.

“Cloves are polarizing. In some markets it’s considered to be an element of savory food, while in others it is used more in sweet foods or in beverages.”
“Clove is also special because it is perceived differently in different countries.” There are an estimated 30 million clove trees on Sulawesi

Dirk Schwannecke

Vice President Oral Care Asia Pacific at Symrise in Singapore

The market for oral hygiene products in the Asia-­Pacific region is growing by about 8 % annually. By 2024, it is estimated to be at USD 31.5 billion. Toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss and even ­dental powder, which is used primarily in Bangladesh, make it an exciting field for us. This growth often comes from new products – for example, charcoal and a variety of other naturals, which are very popular flavor concepts right now. Clove remains one of the most-used ingredients.

Eugenol, which is the primary component that gives it its flavor, is one of the 20 most important ma­terials in Asia in the Oral Care segment – alongside menthol, anethole, mint oils from various sources and eucalyptol. Clove is also special because it is perceived differently in different countries. In Japan and China, it only plays a small role. In South and Southeast Asia, on the other hand, products with clove scent can be found in about 40 to 60 % of the Oral Care products, for example, in the Spice Belt in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. But there are differences even within those countries. In India, for instance, there is a wide variation between the north and the south.

Dirk Schwannecke

Vice President Oral Care Asia Pacific at Symrise in Singapore

The market for oral hygiene products in the Asia-­Pacific region is growing by about 8 % annually. By 2024, it is estimated to be at USD 31.5 billion. Toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss and even ­dental powder, which is used primarily in Bangladesh, make it an exciting field for us. This growth often comes from new products – for example, charcoal and a variety of other naturals, which are very popular flavor concepts right now. Clove remains one of the most-used ingredients.

Eugenol, which is the primary component that gives it its flavor, is one of the 20 most important ma­terials in Asia in the Oral Care segment – alongside menthol, anethole, mint oils from various sources and eucalyptol. Clove is also special because it is perceived differently in different countries. In Japan and China, it only plays a small role. In South and Southeast Asia, on the other hand, products with clove scent can be found in about 40 to 60 % of the Oral Care products, for example, in the Spice Belt in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. But there are differences even within those countries. In India, for instance, there is a wide variation between the north and the south.

“Clove is also special because it is perceived differently in different countries.” There are an estimated 30 million clove trees on Sulawesi

I Made Karyana

farmer from Ladongi, Sulawesi

Forty years ago, our family was resettled from Bali to Sulawesi along with 200 others. This was due to a threat of volcanic eruption from Mount Agung, which was very close to our village. We were given a piece of land, a house and food for two years. We are now 300 families who are keeping our Balinese culture alive with our temple and the style of our houses.

My parents, like so many at the time, started setting up their farm and began growing cacao, pepper and rice. There were only a few clove trees here. It was only from Van Aroma that we learned how valuable these plants are. I’m actually an English teacher at the high school, but I have decided to take on this new challenge and also invest in farming in addition to teaching. Van Aroma and Symrise are helping us in this project to plant our trees properly, to harvest them right and, ultimately, to install our own distilleries and continue to optimize. When we have problems, the companies help us. We are confident that we will be able to continue to grow our community and keep it alive and healthy with this new business.

“Van Aroma and Symrise are helping us in this project to plant our trees properly, to harvest them right and, ultimately, to install our own distilleries and continue to optimize.”

I Made Karyana

farmer from Ladongi, Sulawesi

Forty years ago, our family was resettled from Bali to Sulawesi along with 200 others. This was due to a threat of volcanic eruption from Mount Agung, which was very close to our village. We were given a piece of land, a house and food for two years. We are now 300 families who are keeping our Balinese culture alive with our temple and the style of our houses.

My parents, like so many at the time, started setting up their farm and began growing cacao, pepper and rice. There were only a few clove trees here. It was only from Van Aroma that we learned how valuable these plants are. I’m actually an English teacher at the high school, but I have decided to take on this new challenge and also invest in farming in addition to teaching. Van Aroma and Symrise are helping us in this project to plant our trees properly, to harvest them right and, ultimately, to install our own distilleries and continue to optimize. When we have problems, the companies help us. We are confident that we will be able to continue to grow our community and keep it alive and healthy with this new business.

“Van Aroma and Symrise are helping us in this project to plant our trees properly, to harvest them right and, ultimately, to install our own distilleries and continue to optimize.”
“We use ­natural oils.” 2500 to 2600 raw materials are used in flavor ­development and production.

Siddhartha Chatterjee

SENIOR FLAVORIST IN THE FLAVOR DIVISION AT SYMRISE ASIA PACIFIC

We use 2,500 to 2,600 raw materials in developing and manufacturing flavors. Clove is an important component of that and is used very differently from region to region. In India and Sri Lanka, it is used in masala teas, in Indonesia in spice mixes for meat and in herbal drinks in China. In many compositions, it gives body or provides spiciness. We use it to produce flavors such as tutti-frutti, banana and cherry. Clove taste is essential in cola, alongside citrus oils and vanilla.

We use eugenol as well as leaf and bud oils in flavor creation. Depending on the application, we can choose from a number of variants to make the mixtures more complex. We use natural oils because they are more authentic and the tendency in the Asia-Pacific region, like everywhere else, is toward more naturalness. What gets used also depends on price and availability. That’s why we are always glad when new, sustainable sources for the raw materials are found.

Siddhartha Chatterjee

SENIOR FLAVORIST IN THE FLAVOR DIVISION AT SYMRISE ASIA PACIFIC

We use 2,500 to 2,600 raw materials in developing and manufacturing flavors. Clove is an important component of that and is used very differently from region to region. In India and Sri Lanka, it is used in masala teas, in Indonesia in spice mixes for meat and in herbal drinks in China. In many compositions, it gives body or provides spiciness. We use it to produce flavors such as tutti-frutti, banana and cherry. Clove taste is essential in cola, alongside citrus oils and vanilla.

We use eugenol as well as leaf and bud oils in flavor creation. Depending on the application, we can choose from a number of variants to make the mixtures more complex. We use natural oils because they are more authentic and the tendency in the Asia-Pacific region, like everywhere else, is toward more naturalness. What gets used also depends on price and availability. That’s why we are always glad when new, sustainable sources for the raw materials are found.

“We use ­natural oils.” 2500 to 2600 raw materials are used in flavor ­development and production.

Norbert Braun

Vice President Innovation & QC Scent & Care at Symrise in Singapore

In perfumes, clove plays an inconspicuous but important role. Because of its intense aroma, it cannot be too dominant and sometimes should not even be detectable. This is why it usually only has a share of one to ten parts per thousand in fragrance compositions. But it is absolutely indispensable in the right dosage and difficult to replace.

The clove is an interesting plant from a scientific perspective as well. Essential oils generally have between 250 and 500 individual components, but here there are only 50 to 150 – and the main component is eugenol. It has a share of 60 to 85 %, depending on whether the flowers, the leaves or the stems are being distilled.

Eugenol is the key ingredient for us, but as researchers, we also look at other components to find new and interesting raw materials for our perfumers. Essential oils provide inspiration time and again for fragrances and flavors that are then used in oral care as well as in fine perfumes, shampoos, shower gels or household cleaning products. We work closely with Van Aroma for this as well.

One example is the humulene fraction of cloves, which is comprised primarily of a-humulene and β-caryophyllene. These terpenes have previously rarely been used, so we are asking ourselves how and if we could put them to use. This could result in exciting new fragrance notes and would be very sustainable because we would make even greater use of the plants. To test this, I brought clove bud dust and dried petals back from my last trip to Indonesia. We don’t currently capitalize on the oils that can be made from these, but now I will be able to do lab tests on them. That’s another reason why these trips are so incredibly exciting for me.

“Clove is absolutely indispensable in the right dosage and difficult to replace.”

Norbert Braun

Vice President Innovation & QC Scent & Care at Symrise in Singapore

In perfumes, clove plays an inconspicuous but important role. Because of its intense aroma, it cannot be too dominant and sometimes should not even be detectable. This is why it usually only has a share of one to ten parts per thousand in fragrance compositions. But it is absolutely indispensable in the right dosage and difficult to replace.

The clove is an interesting plant from a scientific perspective as well. Essential oils generally have between 250 and 500 individual components, but here there are only 50 to 150 – and the main component is eugenol. It has a share of 60 to 85 %, depending on whether the flowers, the leaves or the stems are being distilled.

Eugenol is the key ingredient for us, but as researchers, we also look at other components to find new and interesting raw materials for our perfumers. Essential oils provide inspiration time and again for fragrances and flavors that are then used in oral care as well as in fine perfumes, shampoos, shower gels or household cleaning products. We work closely with Van Aroma for this as well.

One example is the humulene fraction of cloves, which is comprised primarily of a-humulene and β-caryophyllene. These terpenes have previously rarely been used, so we are asking ourselves how and if we could put them to use. This could result in exciting new fragrance notes and would be very sustainable because we would make even greater use of the plants. To test this, I brought clove bud dust and dried petals back from my last trip to Indonesia. We don’t currently capitalize on the oils that can be made from these, but now I will be able to do lab tests on them. That’s another reason why these trips are so incredibly exciting for me.

“Clove is absolutely indispensable in the right dosage and difficult to replace.”

An average of

15 – 30

raw materials are used for one oral care flavor composition.

From 25 to 7,000 kilograms of oral care flavor mix are produced in one batch at Symrise in Singapore.

This is added to toothpaste at a dosage between 1 and 1.3 %.

Two tons of flavor at a dosage of 1 % is sufficient for

200 tons of toothpaste

This flavors approximately 1.3 million 150-gram tubes of toothpaste

An average of

15 – 30

raw materials are used for one oral care flavor composition.

From 25 to 7,000 kilograms of oral care flavor mix are produced in one batch at Symrise in Singapore.

This is added to toothpaste at a dosage between 1 and 1.3 %.

Two tons of flavor at a dosage of 1 % is sufficient for

200 tons of toothpaste

This flavors approximately 1.3 million 150-gram tubes of toothpaste