Monteloeder joins Hub de la Vera to further research its lemon verbena extract

Published: 7-May-2024

The Spanish innovation hub moves lemon verbena into a new phase of research, allowing the company to better understand how to optimally farm the ingredient for nutraceutical purposes

Monteloeder, a subsidiary of SUANNUTRA and nutraceuticals specialist, is participating in La Vera Campo Arañuelo Hub, a project that will bring cultivation and production of its flagship botanical lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) to Cáceres, Spain.

There, it will serve as a keystone ingredient for research and agricultural innovation and will replace tobacco plants. Lemon verbena is an aromatic plant native to South America, with its pleasant lemon fragrance making it a perfect candidate for culinary applications and home remedies.

Its traditional use dates back to the ancient Inca culture, where it was valued as a digestive aid and antispasmodic remedy for bronchitis.

Research has revealed its rich profile of bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, essential oils, triterpenes, vitamins and

Lemon verbena possesses natural relaxing, digestive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-support properties

“Lemon verbena is naturally graced with a versatile spectrum of beneficial traits,” explains Maria Ángeles Gutiérrez Marketing Director of SUANNUTRA. “It possesses natural relaxing, digestive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-support properties. This is the
reason we’ve positioned it at the centre of our portfolio of botanical solutions, each tailored to address different health categories. Verbena fulfils a very specific and meaningful role in each one.”


From a tobacco field to a herbal garden

Monteloeder is one of seven companies taking part in the La Vera Campo Arañuelo Hub agronomical research campaign, and has been allocated a space for growing lemon verbena in the hub’s 1.6 hectares (4 acres) of land nestled in the countryside of Cáceres. The space was transformed from tobacco fields into land devoted to cultivating herbals for the nutraceutical industry.

The lemon verbena will grow alongside 14 other botanical crops, including sage, hops and lemon balm.

“This project is designed to both revitalize this strip of Spanish countryside and to foster the transition from cultivating tobacco to more functional medicinal plants,” stated Fran Cremades, Technical & Operations Director of Monteloeder. “It also will boost the
surrounding communities by driving economic and rural development. We will work closely with the local farmers and share our specialised methods for sustainably cultivating organic verbena.”

The hub was created to serve as the integrative grounds for agro-botanical companies to join forces in advancing scientific research into the functional and medical properties of botanicals. Under this programme, Monteloeder will explore new agricultural techniques, such
as precision agriculture, to optimise cultivation practices.

It will also deepen its understanding of the agronomical and environmental conditions most conducive to maximising yields, assessing factors such as humidity, pH, soil quality and irrigation levels. Under this project, Monteloeder also will identify the parameters impacting leaf active content to develop strategies for ensuring maximum potency of its lemon verbena extracts.

The initiative also extends to enhancing the sustainability of the companies involved, encouraging them to forgo fertilisers and pesticides, optimise water usage and enhance soil health through carbon and mineral content recovery.


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