Value addition in rose

Rose is one of the most beautiful creations of nature and is universally acclaimed as queen of flowers. Apart from being admired for its beauty, rose is used in worship, garlands, bouquets, cut flowers, preserves and decorations, etc. Because of diversified growth habit, exquisite shape, variation in size and form, attractive colour, delightful fragrance and numerous varieties, roses have gained wide acceptability.

The life of cut and loose flowers of rose is very short. In case of glut farmers do not get remunerative price. Value addition is the way under these conditions. Value addition is any step taken to increase the value of a raw product anytime between harvesting and sale of the final product. It is increase in value of any product through changes by processing. Any product can be considered value added if it is grown by farmer and increased in value by labour and creativity. The consumers are willing to pay more for the value added products compared to raw ones. Value addition in rose is done by the following ways

• Flower arrangements like bouquets, wreaths, corsages, garlands and buttonholes
• Dry flowers
• Pot pourris
• Rose oil, water, concrete, absolute, gulkand, gulroghan etc.,
• Rose hip juice, jam, tea and candy

Rose water, rose attar, gulroghan, gulkand, rose dry petals and rose oil are commercial products of rose for international and national market. Rose hips are one of the important sources of Vitamin C. Rose water is used in eye problems, petals in nerve complaints or in preparation of tea in relieving brain fatigue.

Rose cultivation is done in different parts of the world for commercial purpose. Rose cultivation is also done for the extraction of essential oil from rose petals. Scented roses like Rosa damascena, R. bourboniana, R. centifolia are utilized for this purpose. R. damascena is extensively cultivated in Ajmer, Pushkar and Haldighati regions of Rajasthan and Kannauj and Aligarh of Uttar Pradesh for extraction of essential oil and other value added products.

Rose Oil, Concrete and Absolute

Distillation of rose oil started in Persia in 1600 and slowly spread throughout the world. Mughal rulers introduced it in India on a large scale. Cultivation of R. damascena and production of rose oil began in Kazanlik region of Bulgaria in the 15th Century. Bulgaria and Turkey are the leading countries in the production of rose oil. Other countries producing rose oil are China, Egypt, France, India and Morocco. The major consumers of essential oil are The USA (40%), Western Europe (30%) and Japan (7%). The most important sources of commercial oil are R. damascena, R. gallica, R. centifolia, R. bourboniana and their cultivars. Rose oil is not only used in perfumery industry but also used in food, beverage and pharmaceutical products. Essential oils are extracted by various methods like distillation, enfleurage, maceration, solvent extraction, expression and super critical fluid extraction. Distillation has been the most widely practiced method for essential oil production but enfleurage and super critical fluid extraction trap delicate essences that are utilized in perfumery which would be altered or destroyed by distillation.

The production of rose oil from flowers by solvent extraction takes place in two steps. The first step consists of solvent extraction, which yields an intermediate product called rose concrete. It is mainly composed of fragrance related substances and also large quantitites of paraffins, fatty acids, fatty acid methyl esters, di and tri terpenic compounds and pigments. In the second step the concrete is best processed to obtain a volatile oil containing the most important fragrance compounds. Recently super critical carbon dioxide extraction is being applied to post process to reduce the thermal degradation and incomplete elimination of non volatile compounds such as paraffins.

R. damascena cultivated in Bulgaria and Turkey is mainly used for oil production. R. centifolia cultivated in Southern France and Morocco, is mainly extracted with solvents such as petroleum ether or n hexane in order to obtain concrete. It is a non purified form of essential oil obtained mostly by means of solvent extraction where the essential oils, plant pigments and waxes are present. Rose absolute is obtained by extracting the concrete with aqueous ethanol. The resulting product is a reddish liquid with a typical rose odour, which is mainly referred to the high phenyl ethyl alcohol content of 60-75% in the volatile fraction. Absolutes are highly concentrated, entirely alcohol soluble and usually liquid perfume material. The waxes, terpenes and sesquiterpenes and most of the odouless materials are eliminated in the absolute. From 400 to 500 kg of rose flowers, 1 kg rose concrete and consequently 500 to 600 g rose absolute can be obtained.

Harvesting of the rose flowers begins at the end of the spring and beginning of summer just before the sunrise. Rose flowers have the highest amount of essential oil from 5 am to 9am. In order to obtain high yield distillation process should be started directly. For the production of 1 kg of rose oil, it is necessary to collect 4000 kg blossoms. The annual world production of rose oil and rose concrete is together estimated at 20 tons.

Rose Water

To produce rose water, 100 kg of flowers are placed in a still and boiled until 1000 l of water has been distilled. In the process of distillation about 100 g of oil can be distilled off.

Rose water is used in Persian and Middle East food in sweets. It is also used as a perfume in religious ceremonies. It is also added to tea, ice cream, cookies and other sweets in small quantities. It is used to flavour milk and dairy products. Rose water is sometimes used in cosmetics such as cold creams. In India, rose water is used as eye drops to clean them. It is also used as spray applied directly to the face for natural fragrance and moisturiser. It is also used in Indian sweets and other food preparations (particularly gulab jamun, named from the Persian word for rose water). Rose water is often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests.


Gulkhand is a sweet product made of rose petals and sugar. Petals of R. damascena and R. bourboniana are used for making Gulkhand. Rose petals and sugar are placed in layers in a wide-mouthed air tight glass jar. The jar is exposed to sunlight for 6 hours per day for around 3 to 4 weeks. On alternate days, the contents of the jar are stirred with a wooden stick. When the process is complete, the gulkhand is kept indoors in a tightly sealed container.

Gulkhand is an ayurvedic tonic. It reduces the heat in the body, a reduction in eye inflammation and redness, strengthening of the teeth and gums, and the treatment of acidity. Gulkand has cooling properties, thus it is beneficial in alleviating all heat related problems like tiredness, lethargy, itching, aches and pains. It also helps in reducing burning sensations in the soles and palms.

Gul Roghan

It is an enfleurage of rose petals in sesamum oil. It is used as a tonic, analgesic and to cure meningitis. 300 g of R. damascena petals are placed in I litre of sesamum oil and placed in sunlight for a fortnight. The mixture is sieved and preserved in bottles.

Rose Hip Juice

The juice can be extracted from ripe hips and used as a source of flavours and vitamins in a variety of recipes.


There are many recipes for tea made by combining rose petals with other flavours. Many tea manufacturers produce a variety of rose flavoured teas that can be purchased commercially.

Candied Rose Hips

Candied rose hips can be prepared by boiling hips with sugar and water followed by drying.

Pot Pourri

Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material, used to provide a gentle natural scent inside buildings. It is usually placed in a decorative bowl, or tied in small sachet made from fabric. Rose petals and leaves make a very good base material for pot pourri. Few drops of rose essential oils are also used to provide scent. The rose petals of different colours and scents like spicy, fruity, damask and tea scents can be utilized to produce variation.

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I am working as scientist in floriculture