Spearmint Plant Science at Kemin Industries

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is an herbaceous plant in the Lamiaceae family. It is native to the European region and has been used for hundreds of years for flavor and fragrance as well as ancient phytotherapeutic uses. These plants produce phytochemicals, which are bioactive chemical compounds that are used for flavoring, preservation and have proven health benefits.

Selected breeding produces scientifically advanced mint

In 2008, Kemin plant biologists, analytical chemists, and agronomists used conventional breeding technologies to develop two patent-pending lines of spearmint suitable for commercial production in food, personal care, health, and pet food applications. Both lines have been fully sequenced at the DNA level. These patent-pending lines known as KI110 and KI42, were bred conventionally to produce a scientifically advanced mint which contains a higher concentration of rosmarinic acid (RA) and other important phenolic compounds.

Grown in the USA

Kemin farms the mint fields in Indiana with a family farmer that brings five generations of experience to our team. This team works together for two years to build hardy spearmint before it is ready for full production and then continues to harvest the plant for another two to three years. Generally, three to four harvests are done per year with the growing season taking place between May through September. We do this to ensure the highest quality mint extract.

Harvest and patented-pending technology to dry

During harvest, fresh mint leaves must be dried within an hour of being cut to protect and preserve the full phenolic complex in the plant. Kemin scientists developed a patent-pending microwave drying process that efficiently removes a majority of the water from the plant and retains the unique phytochemicals. Kemin also uses a specialized water-based extraction process to extract the phenolic complex in the exact profile nature intended.

The Kemin Vision

Improving health, feeding a growing population, protecting our resources, and being a resource for others in need . . . these comprise our purpose. They’re our passion. They’re what move us forward and drive us constantly to do more. They’re about touching lives and improving life.

And as we see our world continue to change and grow, we continue to change, to foster new ways of thinking, to redefine our focus, and to expand our reach.

These are our stories: stories of partnership, innovation, growth, new discovery, and, most importantly, of lives changed.

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