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Joubert E.,ARC Technology | Joubert E.,Stellenbosch University | Joubert M.E.,The Water Council | Bester C.,ARC Agricultural Research Council of South Africa Infruitec Nietvoorbij | And 3 more authors.
South African Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

Honeybush tea (Cyclopia spp.), one of the traditional South African herbal teas with a long history of regional use, remained a cottage industry until the mid-1990s when researchers were instrumental in the development of a formal agricultural and agro-processing industry. It is one of the few indigenous South African plants that made the transition from the wild to a commercial product during the past 100. years. Research activities during the past 20. years included propagation, production, genetic improvement, processing, composition and the potential for value-adding. The present review provides an up-to-date and comprehensive record of the development of the South African honeybush industry, against the background of the historical highlights in the making of an industry. It provides a blueprint of the processes and actions involved in the development of a new agricultural and agro-processing industry from an herbal plant. Insight into challenges faced by the industry and future research needed to keep it competitive are provided. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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