Can Hen Lay Red Eggs?

BYADAGI - With Byadagi chillies used for the extraction of Oleoresin, a natural colour, the small town of Byadagi has shot into instant fame. Lokeshvarappa N gives a first hand account.
calendar icon 19 June 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Can hen lay red eggs? Shivanagowda, however, replies to this question in the affirmative. When asked as to how it is possible, he pointed his fingers toward heaps of dried chillies in his courtyard. This is the magic created by Byadagi chillies overseas. Red oil (Oleoresin), a natural colour, is extracted from these chillies. When this colour is mixed with poultry feed, the eggs hatched will be red in colour!

It’s really a matter of great wonder as to how these chillies from Byadagi, a small village in Haveri district, are creating waves in foreign countries. Oleoresin is used in the preparation of nail enamel and lip colours too. It gives colour to red meat, which is a favourite among westerners.

Byadagi chilli, which is less spicy and is well-known for their deep red colour, is in great demand now. Since the preparation of Oleoresin, its demand from foreign countries has shot up. Byadagi village, which was earlier famous for its sale of chillies, has now seen a sudden spurt in the growth of cold storage units, wherein these chillies are stored so that they don't lose their colour. Also, several industries that produce Oleoresin have been started in the district, explains Shivanagowda, president of the Haveri District Industrial Body, and a chilli trader himself. He is also the owner of two cold storage units and a shareholder in the Oleoresin industry.

On a visit to a cold storage unit, one can experience shivering cold even in scorching summer, as the temperature within the unit is from 4 to 6 degree celsius. Storing Byadagi chillies in the cold storage not only preserves their natural colour, but also results in the extraction of more Oleoresin from these chillies. Only the required amount of chillies is taken out from the unit and sent to the industry for the preparation of Oleoresin. Nearly 30 to 40 per cent more Oleoresin can be extracted from the chillies stored in the cold unit. At present, chilli growers and traders can store their chillies at a cost of Rs 60 to 80 per bag, added Mr Shivanagowda.

Source: DeccanHerald
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