19 | SEP | 2019
Cempasúchil, the Mexican or Aztec marigold - Photo: Cuartoscuro.com

China, main producer of cempasúchil for industrial use

Mexico City
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Currently, China has three-quarters of marigold crops in the world, followed by India (20%) and Peru (5%)

Even thought cempasúchil, the Mexican or Aztec marigold, is native to Mexico, China is the main producer of the flower for industrial use, according to Francisco Alberto Basurto Peña, a researcher at the Institute of Biology of the UNAM.

Currently, China has three-quarters of marigold crops in the world, followed by India (20%) and Peru (5%).

Basurto Peña explained that cempasúchil is an economically important plant due to its abundance in carotenes, used in the animal feed industry to color eggs and chicken meat.

In Mexico, cempasúchil fields supply the demands for the All Saints' Day (a celebration of all Christian saints on November 1), yet it represents a much lower volume than the industry requires.

According to the researcher, in the last decade, there was a marigold production boom in which the Chapingo Autonomous University (Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo abbreviated UACh) and the Scientific Research Center of Yucatán (Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán abbreviated CICY) became leaders in the production of marigold flour for both the pharmaceutical and animal feed industry. 

Unfortunately, the company associated with the academic institutions was acquired by an Indian corporation and the production was moved to that country.

However, Basurto Peña assures that in Mexico there are about 40 species of marigold, enough genetic range to promote a biotechnological research to impulse Mexico's development on the industrial use of cempasúchil.


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