Bangladesh Jute Research Institute - BJRI, Editorial, Sector

Care for herbal drink from jute tea?

Bangladeshi scientists claim to have recreated a long-lost recipe of herbal drink made from jute leaf, which they hope would gain popularity across the globe.

The organic drink touted as “jute green tea” has 30 percent more calorie than spinach, and it contains iron, vitamin C, vitamin D and anti-oxidants, according to scientists at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI).

Dr Md Nasimul Gani, principal scientific officer at BJRI, said, “The drink is healthy and tasty.” It would help tackle constipation, diabetes, cancer and ageing.

The BJRI official hoped the drink would be in high demand due to its organic qualities.

It is very easy to prepare the jute herbal drink. One needs to put the powdered ingredients in a glass of water, stir it until it turns green, and then add sugar to taste.

BJRI officials said they shared the recreated recipe of the drink with officials at the Jute Diversification Promotion Centre.

Talking to The Daily Star, BJRI Director General Dr Md Kamal Uddin said, “In the past, only jute fibre got the main attention. But those days are gone. Now, we are focusing on diversified use of jute. The jute herbal drink will earn worldwide reputation as its quality is very good and it is organic.”

The idea of the drink crossed the mind of BJRI officials following government initiatives to diversify the use of jute, he said.

BJRI officials said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised the quality of the jute herbal drink after tasting it at an event recently at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.

Prof Sagarmay Barua of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science at Dhaka University said that like other vegetables, jute leaf contain ingredients such as iron, calcium, carotene, fibre, carbohydrate, protein and vitamins.

Mainul Hoque, director (project monitoring and implementation) of the Jute Diversification Promotion Centre, said, “The jute herbal drink has a great future as organic products are becoming very popular. We expect a huge boost in this sector.”

Warsi Aquatech Ltd, a Bangladeshi firm, has shown interest in commercial production of the herbal drink.

It has already produced an organic green tea based on the recipe it got from the BJRI.

Ismail Khan, chairman of the firm, said he received BSTI lab test report on the product and applied to the industries ministry for patenting the drink named “Miracle Organic Green Tea”.

Ismail said 200 kilograms of the green tea would be shipped to Germany on a trial basis, and the price would be $12 a kg.

Asked, he said, “We will commercially launch it soon in the domestic market.”