Product Information|Gifu Shellac Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Natural Product Purification

In the chief production areas of portions of the Thai and Indian subtropics, the Laccifer lacca, an insect about 1 millimeter in length which colonizes and parasitizes certain host trees, produces a resinous secretion to protect itself. The substance purified from this raw material is called “shellac”.
We have worked on the purification of this valuable natural resource since our founding.
Currently, we apply that purification technology in the separation and purification of bioactive substances from various natural products.


 The development of our unique extraction and purification technology used in shellac has enabled us to always provide a consistent supply of shellac while still preserving it as a natural product and not missing out on any of its inherent performance.

 We have laid out a thorough control system to ensure its quality and safety, from the raw material’s harvesting location through to its delivery. We are also the only company in Japan to have received a medical additive manufacturing license and to manufacture and sell shellac as listed in the Japanese Pharmacopeia, and we put great efforts into the quality of our product.

 Under solid achievements such as these, we are of course using shellac in pharmaceutical, medicinal and food products, but also in a wide variety of fields, including adhesive or bonding agents used in the fabrication of electronic components and in fine chemicals with industrial applications.

Purified Shellac

 Shellac turns a scarlet color when the impurities are removed. There are two types: one which includes the wax from the raw ingredient seedlac and one where the wax is removed.

Decolorized Shellac

 Using an adsorbent, the pigment is physically removed to produce this shellac. Not only does this preserve the original quality and properties, but it produces a lightened, high grade shellac.

*An even higher quality shellac is also available.

Lac Pigment

 The red pigment which is a byproduct from crushing and washing the sticklac, the raw ingredient of shellac, has historically been used as a coloring dye for textiles. We applied the purification technologies we developed through shellac to extract this lac pigment and became the first company in the world to succeed in the industrialization of this process. As a safe, high quality red coloring food dye, lac pigment is useful in a wide variety of ways to people throughout the world.

Composition Laccaic acid, natural anthraquinone dye
1. Highly purified product.
2. Very safe, natural colorant.
3. Acidic with high stability against heat and light.
High heat resistance when compared to carminic acid.
Point of decomposition is 185°C (Carminic acid is 135°C).
4. Water soluble and can be easily used.
5. It has good dyeing properties and changes color through the proteins.
6. Metallic ions can cause color change and sedimentation.
Color tone The color tone changes depending on the pH. When using, perform a color test sample beforehand.

pH Less than 3.0 3.0 to 5.0 5.0 to 7.0 7.0 to 9.0
Tone Orange Orange – Red Red – Magenta Magenta
Solubility It is water soluble so it can be used in the same way as water soluble pigments.
(Approximately 0.1% dissolves in water, approximately 0.7% in propylene glycol, and approximately 1% in ethanol)
Application Used for coloring various food products, such as soft drinks, juices, syrup, frozen desserts, pickled products, pharmaceuticals, bread making, red bean paste, jam, red bean soup, ham, processed tomato products (ketchup, tomato juice, puré, sauce), processed seafood products and feed. It is also used in other products other than food products such as cosmetics.
Precautions Lac pigment cannot be used for the following food products.
Kelp or kombu, meats (for consumption), fresh seafood (including whale meat), tea, seaweed, legumes, vegetables and wakame.

Extraction & Purification

 It has been revealed that natural components such as tea catechins and soy isoflavones have a health preserving effect, and recently health food products are being developed in abundance by numerous manufacturers.

 We have utilized the extraction and purification technologies and experience with shellac and lac pigment that we have cultivated since our founding to extract and purify various natural active ingredients, receiving the loyalty and praise of many customers.

 Our extraction and purification technology offers the following two features.

1. Extraction and purification via organic solvents is possible. There are many general food product manufacturers who have difficulties with using organic solvents in large volumes. However, our plants are compliant with Japan’s Fire Service Act and use explosion-proof equipment, which enables us to use organic solvents, such as ethanol and even hexane and ethyl acetate, in our extraction and purification. We can also manage components which are difficult to extract and purify in just aqueous mediums.

We are able to use columns for high level separation and purification. We also use columns with different types of fillers to not only achieve cost performance but support large volume production as well.

 In the development of functional materials, the advancement of functional research and the development of extraction and purification processes is vital. As an extraction and purification process specialist manufacturer, we support customers in their development and manufacturing. We do not just function as a mere outsourcing manufacturer, but strive to use our R&D ability, production capability and experience as a base in order to be an “extraction and purification solutions company” that can propose efficient manufacturing processes and resolve any challenges or issues for you.