Since 1993, the Vietnam Government has encouraged afforestation to cover bare land and bare hills with funds from the 327 program and the 5 million ha forest program. By 2021, the total area of star anise planted is estimated at 50,000 ha, including star anise for fruit and star anise for oil. The total production of star anise essential oil is approximately 200 tons, of which Tech-Vina meets the supply capacity of 150 tons.
Scientific name: Illicium verum
Trade name: Star anise
Star anise is small evergreen tree, 6-8 m tall, trunk diameter 15-30cm. Trunk straight, round and bark gray-brown. Young branches are slightly fat, smooth, and pale green, later turning gray-brown. Leaves are alternate and often concentrated at the top of the branches, giving a ring-like appearance; Each round usually has 3-5 leaves. The leaf blade is thick, hard and brittle; size 6-12x2,5-5cm; leaf top pointed or obtuse, upper surface dark green and smooth, lower surface light green; feathery leaf veins, consisting of 9-12 pairs, not prominent. The petiole is 7-10cm long.
Star anise has been cultivated for a long time in the mountainous areas of Northeast Vietnam and Southern China. Existing star anise forests are concentrated mainly at altitudes 200-300-400-600m, with an average annual temperature in the range of 18-220C and an average annual total rainfall of 1,000-1,400- 1,600-2,800mm. The concentrated star anise growing areas in both Vietnam and China are directly affected by the Northeast monsoon. Every year, the air temperature drops to low (average 13.5-150C) and often has frost.
The plant prefers thick topsoil, high fertility, good drainage, pH 5-8, especially red, brown to yellow ferralite, growing on sandstone. Star anise is a light-loving plant, but at the young stage needs to be shaded. In the first stage, the tree grows very quickly in height (growth in height can reach 1.5-2.0 m/year). Under the development of agricultural technology, many high-quality star anise varieties with high essential oil content were born.
Products from star anise
Previously, star anise in Vietnam was planted scatteredly and mainly used to harvest fruit to make the spice and export to China, India, and Middle East. Through years of cultivation, farmers have developed anise essential oil products extracted from star anise fruit or dried anise leaves and branches.
Since 1993, the Vietnam Government has encouraged afforestation to cover bare land and bare hills with funds from the 327 program and the 5 million ha forest program. Households in mountainous areas are allocated forest land for cultivation and are entitled to loans under preferential programs. Therefore, star anise is grown fast in remote areas, areas where ethnic minorities live and brings a stable income, making an important contribution to stabilizing life and reducing poverty for local people.
By 2021, the total area of star anise planted is estimated at 50,000 ha, including star anise for fruit and star anise for oil. The total production of star anise essential oil is approximately 200 tons, of which Tech-Vina meets the supply capacity of 150 tons. Under the support of the government, star anise growing areas are increasingly concentrated and expanded. Farming techniques apply more supporting machinery and tools such as fruit picking machines, machines to transport branches and leaves from the hills to the distillery, industrial dryers, high-capacity distillation systems, etc… to help reduce labor force and increase efficiency.
Tech-Vina's role when joining the star anise oil market
With the success of Vietnam cassia development for 13 years, when Tech-Vina joins the star anise industry will commit to developing a high-quality sustainable raw material area, and at the same time, commits to selling output to farmers, bringing high-quality products including star anise oil and chemical aromas inside star anise oil to the world market. It is expected that by 2025, the star anise growing area will increase by 30% to meet the market demand.
As planned, by the end of 2021, Tech-Vina will start producing Anethole extracted from star anise oil.