Kaapi Ingredients  

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Kaapi Ingredients is focused on transforming Brazilian aromatic plants into amazing fragrance ingredients to the world. Our main products are Rosewood Essential Oil, Copaiba Balsam and Distilled, Tonka, Priprioca and Pink Peppercorn Essential Oils.


 Press Releases

  • Kaapi Ingredients is dedicated to sourcing natural ingredients from the Brazilian biodiversity to the perfumery industry. Brazil is an important player on the essential oils market, mainly for cold pressed orange oil and its derivatives. Despite being one of the richest countries in biological diversity, there is a small number of Brazilian native aromatic plants actually processed by the industry of essential oils and natural extracts. Some of them, like sassafras and rosewood, became endangered species due to bad management of natural stocks. Kaapi challenged itself to change this situation in the case of rosewood.

    Aniba rosaeodora, the Brazilian rosewood, is a medium sized tree that can reach up to 30 meters in height in native populations. It was intensively felled for its essential oil, the main source of linalool for the F&F industry, before the decade of 1960. Its indiscriminate harvesting continued until it became an endangered species in 2010, when it practically disappeared from the market and the price skyrocketed. 

    Rosewood has been part of Kaapi’s history since its birth. In the year 2000, the founder, Eduardo, accepted the challenge posed by his professor at the University of Campinas, Lauro Barata, of distilling rosewood leaves with a portable water and steam distillatory through the Amazon. For six months, he traveled from the east cost of the Amazon up to Manaus, distilling local aromatic plants and learning the history of rosewood essential oil production in the Brazilian Amazon.

    The knowledge acquired during his experience in the Amazon rainforest created the conditions for a new challenge: the production of rosewood leaf essential oil. In 2013, with the local support of agronomist and partner Sergio Souza, Eduardo started to cultivate rosewood in the surroundings of the small town of Itacoatiara, located at the margins of the Amazon River. The distillery was put in place in 2020 and the production of rosewood leaf oil started in 2021.

    “The beauty of rosewood leaf essential oil, besides its smell, is that the tree is trimmed, not cut down like it was in the old days. This is a remarkable change, because the financial break-even point will come several years earlier than if we were producing oil from the wood,” says Eduardo. 

    The Rosewood Project represents more than a single investment: Kaapi envisions the creation of a business model to be replicated to the communities. The company will provide the technical support so that small farmers have the opportunity to grow their own rosewood. Side by side, company and neighbor communities will then be part of a meaningful production chain that will be capable of reducing pressure on the native forest and increase the volume of rosewood oil available to the market.
    It is in Kaapi’s heart to transform the potential richness of the Brazilian biodiversity into resources and opportunities that increases people’s income. Gatherers, fishermen and small farmers have their revenue increased through the harvest of fruits, seeds and resins in the rainforest. Beyond creating and being part of a fruitful commercial chain, the company contributes to the conservation of nature and adds value to the riches of the Amazon rainforest.
  • Tonka beans are 5 to 7-centimeter-long, light to dark brown seeds, obtained one by one from the inside of fruits of the magnificent tonka tree Dipterix odorata. Its sweet scent, quite similar to vanilla, made tonka a great replacer of it in the recent past. Nowadays, the seed extract is mainly used in fragrance compositions.

    Dipterix odorata is a tropical tree from the Fabaceae family that grows nearly 30 meters high. Native to the Amazon region and present throughout northern South America, the name Dipterix, which means “two wings” in Latin, refers to the shape of its flowers. Purple-pink, they give way to fleshy fruits containing a single seed – the Tonka bean, also called cumaru in Brazil or sarrapia in Venezuela. The blossom happens between December and April and the ripening of the fruits happens mainly between May and September.

    Although the species is well distributed throughout the Amazon basin, the harvest takes place mainly in a small region in the north margin of the Amazon River, between the rivers Trombetas and Paru, in Brazil. This area is part of a macro region called Calha Norte and its basically an agricultural area besides its mineral richness. Basically, 80% to 90% of the production comes from harvesting in natural forest, but part of it comes from cultivated areas. The bat is the main responsible for the seed dispersion, promoting the proliferation of the species. When the fruits start ripening, the animal carries them to other places, indicating to collectors that they are available for picking. Only the naturally fallen fruits or the ones dropped by the bats are collected from the ground under adult trees.

    The wild harvest of natural ingredients such as tonka means an important source of income for families living in the Amazon basin. One estimates that some 30% of the local population is somehow involved in the supply chain. For tonka harvested for Kaapi alone this is something near 15,000 people increasing their income, distributed in 30 villages in the Calha Norte area, especially in isolated and remote areas of the Brazilian Amazon.

    These people do more than going after an extra income: above all, they promote the environment preservation. The wild harvest is an activity totally dependent on the maintenance of the forest. The Amazon is the biggest tropical forest and the most diverse ecosystem in the world. It’s a land of countless beauties and innumerable challenges. Its colonization took place mainly during the Amazon Rubber Boom and the search for wealth took men from all over Brazil to the most remote and isolate corners of the forest. The end of the rubber cycle in the Amazon resulted in people living inaccessible areas with very little or no growth opportunities for anyone. The extractivism of tonka beans as well as copaiba, Brazil nut among others are sources of income that, oppositely to wood logging and agriculture, promotes the rainforest preservation.

    Tonka beans are nowadays widely used in the perfumery, cosmetics and tobacco industries, but their therapeutic properties have been known for a long time by Brazilian natives.

  • The scientific name for the pink pepper tree is Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi. It is a medium tree which reaches between 5 and 10 meters in height. It is native to South America and is found in Atlantic Forest biomes almost all over Brazil. The trees bloom between September and January and its fruiting usually happens from April to July.

    The pink peppercorn is a fruit which measures 3 mm in diameter and is largely found in the pink pepper trees. Widely used as a spice for seasoning white meats and pasta, the pink peppercorn also lends flavor and beauty to cocktails, chocolate and sophisticated dishes. Its bright-red shell surrounds a single seed, which is edible and abundant in essential oil, giving the fruit a spicy and slightly sweet flavor.

    Location

    Although it is common along the Brazilian coast, the plant is easily adaptable to different habitats, including the driest ones. The national production is concentrated in the state of Espírito Santo, where the highest number of commercial plantations are found, as well as the biggest exporters.

    Harvesting

    The pink peppercorn quality is intrinsically linked to the maturity of its fruits. The recognition is based on the color of the skin, which ranges from light green to intense red. Even though both unripe and ripe fruits are rich in essential oil, the expected aromatic profile is only found in the ripe ones, which are bright-red.

    Due to a continued increase in market interest in the pink peppercorn, technical assistance and rural extension bodies, in collaboration with farmers, have developed management and genetical improvement techniques which enabled quality, productivity and lifetime improvements of the pink pepper tree.

    Harvesting is carried out by hand and in a natural way. Chemicals which induce fruit dropping or accelerate maturation are not used, different from several commercial cultures nowadays.

    Soon after harvesting, farmers start pruning the trees. This step is necessary to stimulate the sprout of new branches, where fruits will grow in the next crop.

    Social Impacts

    Boosted by the prominent position held in the global gourmet cuisine, the pink peppercorn culture has been gaining ground among the main agricultural activities in the Espírito Santo state. Year by year, a higher number of farmers start growing the plant which is seen as a good alternative to the cultivation of more traditional ones, such as the black pepper, eucalyptus and coffee. The pink peppercorn finds applications in mature markets, such as fragrance, cosmetics and gastronomy, which makes it a safe kind of investment to small farmers who are looking for market safety and diversity.

    Besides being commercially attractive, the cultivation of the pink pepper tree has been an option to coastal community fishermen in the Espírito Santo state. In 2015, these workers were forced to interrupt their activities due to the consequences of the mining tailings dam collapse in the municipality of Mariana, in the state of Minas Gerais. The mud, with high levels of mercury, lead and arsenic, reached the Doce River, whose river basin supplies a large part of the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.

    Planting the pink pepper tree became a new source of income to those whose main economic activity had been hampered by the environmental disaster. Thus, the fishermen became farmers as well, being advised by organs of the State on how to manage the plants sustainably. This way, they learned a new economic activity and, in turn, secured their livelihood.

    Environmental Impacts

    The plant features fast growth and high resistance to drought stress. For being a more adaptable to poorer and drier soils plant, it is widely used for reforesting degraded areas and riparian forests. This contributes to the return of pollinators and seed dispersers, enriching local biological diversity.

    Pink peppercorn in the Fragrance Industry

    Introduced to the International Fragrance market in the 1990’s, the pink peppercorn was originally used as an extract obtained from supercritical carbon dioxide, the state-of-the-art in the aromatic plants extraction industry. This ingredient brought a great differential advantage to high perfumery and became part of the most renowned perfumers’ palette. Its aromatic, spicy and fresh olfactory notes bring sensuality, romance and presence to the most luxurious and elegant fragrances. A strategic ingredient to the Global Luxury Perfume market, originally obtained from the Brazilian sociobiodiversity.

    Kaapi Ingredients’ Pink peppercorn oil

    Kaapi decided to work with the pink peppercorn produced by small farmers from the municipality of São Mateus, in the state of Espírito Santo. Besides offering a high-quality product, the company is proud to be part of a production chain which fosters a positive impact in the social, environmental and economic spheres. Its olfactory profile is quite similar to the one found in the supercritical extract, bringing the same freshness and the aromatic differential, highly-valued by the international perfumery.


 Products

  • Copaiba Balsam
    Copaiba oleoresin, or copaiba balsam, is the natural exudate of trees of the genus Copaifera. Obtained directly from the trunk of the tree, the viscous and aromatic liquid flows naturally from the drilled hole....

  • The origin of the name came from the language Tupi, spoken by the main group of natives living in Brazilian lands before colonization. “Cupa-yba” means “deposit tree” or “natural deposit of ores”, referring to the oleoresin stocked inside the tree. Copaiba oleoresin, or copaiba balsam, has been known for a long time by Brazilian natives for its therapeutic properties. People living in communities close to the forest still use the oil as a remedy for different diseases and infections.

    Our Copaiba suppliers are spread all over the Amazon basin, in several villages and communities. They are, most of the time, backed by associations or cooperatives which provide tools and instruction on good harvesting practices, especially on how to collect the balsam properly and nurse the tree thereafter. The extraction of copaiba balsam is a job passed over generations and, sometimes, the main income of hundreds of families living in forestated areas. Kaapi Ingredients reaches around 4.000 families on this process. Encouraging the sustainable extractivism is a very good way of conserving the wilderness and the wild life.