Sea buckthorn is mainly wild grown in China, and it originally cultivated in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Shanxi, Shaanxi and other areas for water and soil conservation, windbreak and sand fixation and soil improvement. The planting area is around 10 million mou.
In recent years, with the development of sea buckthorn industry, supported by the local governments and enterprises, the cultivated area of sea buckthorn has increased year by year. Inner Mongolia owns the largest growing area of cultivated and wild sea buckthorn, primarily Chinese varieties of sea buckthorn. Xinjiang vigorously develop Sea buckthorn planting since 2000, primarily turkestanica and mongolica. It is understood that the area of cultivated and wild sea buckthorn reached 70 thousand mou.
The harvesting is obvious seasonal, basically in August 20th to the end of October. It is very busy during this time in the main producing areas, so it lacks for picking farmers. In order to solve this problem, some manufacturers are working to invent picking machine for cultivated sea buckthorn.
The demand exceeded the supply on poor harvest in 2013, and the market price rose. Thanks to good harvest in 2014, the market price tends to be stable, according to herbridge.com.
Most promising plant
Sea buckthorn is a super fruit. The vitamin C level reaches 200-2500mg/100g, the average level of palm oil is up to 40%, which is much higher than that in olive oil, macadamia nut oil and milk . There are nearly 40 kinds of flavonoids in Sea buckthorn. So sea buckthorn is also known as the most promising plant in nutritional and medical sector in twenty-first Century.
Sea buckthorn oil in tight supply
Sea buckthorn oil is in short supply and sees increasing prices, according to herbridge.com. One reason is that new market entrants have no enough goods in stock on limited sea buckthorn and seasonal harvesting. The other reason is that only a few domestic manufacturers can offer high-end products to international standards.
Honsea, the first domestic manufacturer to produce sea buckthorn fruit oil and sea buckthorn seed oil by the supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, gains QS certification for their sea buckthorn serial products. General Manager Luo told herbridge.com that the price of sea buckthorn fruit oil and seed oil continued to rise in recent years, and the fruit oil price rose 30 to 50 percent from the beginning of 2013. Sea buckthorn oil saw an increased demand at home and abroad through 2014, and began to see a tight supply in the first half of 2014.
In addition to conventional extraction method, supercritical CO2 fluid extraction is also used for the production of sea buckthorn oil, according to herbridge.com.
General Manager Luo told herbridge.com that as for sea buckthorn extracts by Supercritical CO2 extraction, the level of pesticide residues and chemical solvents are effectively controlled, the content of active ingredients is improved, and the Omega-7 level is high.
“There are 20 more manufacturers, but no more than 5 ones can offer sea buckthorn oil to international standards, which is limited by production technology and equipment”, said one person from Xinjiang Aopu Biological Technology Co., Ltd, “As for the same specification, the product quality differs largely, and the price differs widely.”
Sea buckthorn oil is one of the most promising natural products. Only by identifying the the difference between domestic and foreign demand, making the brand positioning of quality products, and beefing up hardware and software defences, can domestic manufacturers grow into the mainstream suppliers in the world.
Consumers are focus now more than ever on food safety, which will encourage enterprises to purchase high-quality sea buckthorn. Foreign manufacturers of nutritional supplements may highlight Omega-7 fatty acids and oleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients as well as the proportion of fatty acid of their products to gain more attentation. The market demand for sea buckthorn oil is expected to continue to rise in the coming years.