IFP Bureau | IMPHAL | Nov 11
Regular intake of citronella may prove harmful to health as the plant product is not meant for consumption, Dr Huidrom Birkumar, senior principal scientist at CSIR-NEIST, Imphal, said on Monday.
“Citronella and lemongrass similar. Citronella is not for consumption while lemongrass is known as herbal drink,” Birkumar said in his speech at the opening of Liquid Deodorant Product Unit at MIDC Enterprises, Takyel Industrial Estate.
Although citronella and lemon grass look alike, people should know that both have different properties. Citronella leaves are broad, have strong smell and lemon grass leaves are small with lemony smell, he said, adding citronella is used in mosquito repellent, while lemon grass is used for flavour and fragrance.
Consuming citronella will cause skin allergies, lung damage and increase heart rate in the long run, Birkumar warned.
Meanwhile, under the M/S MIDC Enterprise, managing director S Ingomacha and his farmers have started farming lemongrass and citronella in about seven acres of field. Now the company is producing different varieties of product that are all household use.
Emphasising on quality product, Ingomcha mentioned that while producing any product, the state face technology that are capable of producing quality product. Many people started producing product but due to improper scientific studies, the products become sub-standard. He said the state should focus on aromatic sector. The sector can help generate income without depending on other state or country.
According to Dr RK Nimai, who also spoke on the occasion, the state should start development from import substitution then to national and international. He said that change should begin with the state product. The trend of exporting state product should be based on the demand of the product by other state or country. The government should provide technical support to entrepreneurs. Before establishing an industry, it is necessary to study the market rank, he added.
In the state, most of the people are adopting practices of production started by others. Such things will not help development, he said.
Peter Salam, managing director, Manipur Food Industries Cooperation Ltd, said the state government is planning to open 13 clusters of aromatic sector. Most of the hill areas are planning to plant lemongrass. The state will be able to produce a large number of flavour and fragrance and can achieve the status of best state in producing flavour and fragrance, he added.
The opening function was also attended by Dr S. Yoirentomba Meetei, project coordinator (FFDC), MSME technology centre, Nilakuthi among others.