UNS — The Center for Environmental Research (PPLH), Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM), Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) Surakarta, assists turmeric farmers for the Suroloyo Farmer Group I, Bandar Village, Pacitan Regency, East Java. Through this Community Assistance activity in 2021, the turmeric farmers in Bandar are expected to gain an additional skill to sell turmeric in various forms, not only in wet form. The produced turmeric can be processed into various high-value products, such as essential oils.

The Suroloyo Bandar Farmer Group I, Pacitan, aims to downstream herbal medicine plants (Empon-empon), especially turmeric, through steam distillation and selling the produced oil to industry. “So far, the turmeric harvest from farmers is directly sold at low prices to middlemen. Therefore, efforts are needed to increase turmeric economic value,” explained Fea Prihapsara, M.Sc., as the head of the community service activity, Monday (31/1/2022).

This program was funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemdikbudristek) through a Community Service Grant under the Regional Featured Product Development Program (PPPUD) in 2021. The funds were invested in production equipment to support the turmeric essential oils process.

The head of the Suroloyo Farmers Group I, Agus Pramono, said that the turmeric harvested by the farmers would be refined using a distillation machine with fuel from machine lubricant oil waste. “The distillation process took around 7-8 hours using a 200 kg boiler, which will produce a refined product of around 0.1-0.15%. In this essential oil refining, no waste is produced. Wet turmeric can be processed into 3 (three) products, namely essential oil, hydrosol, and grade B turmeric powder,” explained Agus.

Turmeric essential oil (Turmeric oil) has many health benefits, such as overcoming depression, anxiety, arthritis, joint pain, relieving colds and coughs, boosting the immune system, making skin smooth, and soothing digestive disorders. Turmeric oil can also be used as aromatherapy, massage oil, traditional medicine, and cosmetics.

PPLH UNS Assists Turmeric Farmers in Pacitan in Turmeric Essential Oil Production

Meanwhile, hydrosols are often referred to as hydrolases, florasols, or distillate water, which are part of essential oils components suspended in distilled water. “The average essential oil composition in the hydrosol is about 0.02%. Hydrosol can help to hydrate and brighten skin, as well as aromatherapy. Apart from being used in traditional medicine and cosmetics, hydrosol can also be used as a diffuser for room freshener,” added Fea.

Fea further states that grade B turmeric powder is used in the mix of animal feed or Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP) for broiler chickens, poultry, fish, cattle, goats, and many others. Additionally, cattle feed mixed with turmeric powder as a substitute for AGP is also highly beneficial for livestock in maintaining egg production stability for poultry.

Meanwhile, Agus added that for every 200 kg of wet turmeric, which can be sold at Rp. 1,200-1,500/kg can produce about 200-250 ml of essential oil, 50 liters of hydrosol, and 20 kg of dry turmeric powder. The essential oil price is estimated at Rp. 250,000/100 ml, while the hydrosol is estimated at Rp. 5000/liter, while dry powder is expected to be sold at Rp. 10,000/kg.

“Actually, processing turmeric brings more benefits than being sold in wet form. Moreover, we will disseminate this turmeric processing activity to other farmers to help them in increasing turmeric added value,” concluded Agus. Humas UNS

Reporter: Bayu Aji Prasetya
Editor: Dwi Hastuti

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