Standardization of drying, bleaching and dyeing techniques for non-traditional flowers

T.L. Preethi, T. Thangaselvabai, R. Sankaranarayanan
The naturalized Indian flora comprises a wide variety of ornamental trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous plants, etc. These plants are not suitable for use either as cut flower or foliage. However, they can be dehydrated to preserve their natural beauty (Anonymous, 2003) and used in the dry flower industry. India is the fifth largest exporter of dried flowers and contributes export to the tune of 5% in the world trade (Sellam et al., 2014). The dry flower industry in India is a 100% export oriented industry with highest contribution from Tamil Nadu. Almost all the raw plant materials used are from under exploited plants growing in their natural habitats like forests and hillocks. To popularize this industry and to exhibit the true value of local flora an experiment was conducted at the Horticultural College and Research Institute, Periyakulam to standardize drying, bleaching and dyeing techniques for non-traditional flowers. Commonly available flowering climbers, shrubs and trees like Wedelia trilobata, Clitoria ternatea, Mussandea luteola, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Caesalpinia pulcherrima ‘Flava’, Mussaenda luteola, Hamelia patens, Thryallis glauca, Ixora duffii, Ixora coccinea, Caesalpinia pulcherrima ‘Rosea’, Saraca indica, Cordia sebestena and Cassia glauca were taken up for the study. Among non-traditional flowers, Wedelia trilobata, (climber), Mussaenda luteola (shrubs) dried with silica gel and Cassia glauca (trees) dried by microwave oven drying was most suitable for dry flower processing with highest dry weight, lowest moisture loss and least change in pigment levels, enzyme levels, epicuticular wax and percentage of leachates. Quickest drying was achieved when drying was carried out in microwave oven. Bleaching using 100% sodium chlorite showed best results. The colour uptake was high and colour fading low for Clitoria ternatea dyed with natural yellow dyes, Mussaenda luteola dyed with red, blue and yellow natural dyes and Cassia glauca dyed with natural yellow dyes.
Preethi, T.L., Thangaselvabai, T. and Sankaranarayanan, R. (2019). Standardization of drying, bleaching and dyeing techniques for non-traditional flowers. Acta Hortic. 1241, 627-632
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1241.92
Wedelia trilobata, Clitoria ternatea, silica gel, sodium chlorite, natural dyes, enzyme activity, pigment levels

Acta Horticulturae