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Another ambitious project that we embarked on is in the sphere of Nutraceuticals and Life Sciences. Towards this, Ishka Farms signed an MOU with ICAR-CIFT for detailed analysis of the different parts of the Caper plant as well as Moringa leaf. We have now commenced filing patents and plan to have innovative products in wellness, sports and nutraceutical markets by 2024-25.
Moringa Oleifera is more popularly called – Moringa or Drum Stick Tree, and in many cultures, it has been christened ‘The Tree of Life’ or ‘The Miracle Tree because of its myriad health benefits. All parts of the tree, from its roots to its leaves, are edible and form not only a part of a daily diet but is also used in ancient and modern medical remedies.
The leaves are one of the richest sources of plant protein and antioxidants. It is loaded with vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and more. This superfood received a fillip when in 2008, the US National Institute of Health named it “the plant of the year”, acknowledging that this plant had the potential to not only reverse multiple environmental issues but also provide for many unmet human nutritional needs. Its products are proven to have antibiotic, anti-spasmodic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory and hypoglycemic properties.
Ishka Farms grows organic Moringa only for its leaves and nurtures the plants so that its entire energy is harnessed in the leaf and not diverted to flower or fruit. Leaves are handpicked, cleaned, shade dried and packed on the farm itself so as to prevent any loss of nutrition.
Capers are one of the most desired ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine, which has also found a place in international kitchens. Its unique flavour profile has won ardent fans across all palates. It is acknowledged as a plant source packed with powerful anti-oxidants and flavonoid compounds – Rutin and Quercetin. Research studies suggest that Quercetin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. With a concentration of 180 mg/100 g of Quercetin, the tiny Caper comes in second only to concentration levels found in tea leaf.
Our farm is the first organised commercial farm in India to grow certified organic Capers. Niravi Pudhupatti soil has deep black cotton soil with a thick layer of calcium rocks. The Capers produced are pungent, intense, deep and rich in flavour and at par, if not better, than those produced in traditional Caper farming belts of the world. The proximity to the Bay of Bengal and the large salt pans of Tuticorin gives our organic capers a distinct advantage of being cured in sea salt, which is locally produced. The harsh environment, coupled with the groundwater, which filters naturally through the mineral-rich rocks under the deep black soil, produces unique and piquant capers with underlying notes of pepper.