Bamboo charcoal, Take 竹 (bamboo) Sumi 炭 (charcoal), called black diamond, is one of the rare ingredients with a very broad spectrum. It has many advantages for both humans and the environment. Like a magnet, takesumi absorbs 3 times more pollutants from the air and water than conventional activated carbon. Moreover, its qualities are now recognised by many hygiene and care brands that integrate it into their products.
An ancestral know-how
In the Middle Ages, each village had its own master takesumi burner. The population used it daily to purify water, reduce the acidity of food and cure infections and intoxications. It is no coincidence that life expectancy in these regions was above average at the time.
Today, takesumi is still produced in a clay oven, according to the ancestral Japanese know-how. Moso or tiger bamboo wood is burned for more than 3 days at 800° to 1000°. The slow combustion, at very high temperatures, allows the development of millions of pores which act as absorbers. The production of takesumi requires one month of work. It takes 10 days to 2 weeks to reach an optimal temperature for bamboo cooking. Then another 10 days to 2 weeks are needed to cool down the kiln.
Special features of bamboo charcoal
Its fine, smooth bark and ultra-porous pulp make it an outstanding absorber. Thus, it attracts and retains 3 times more air and water pollutants than a conventional activated carbon. The surface area of bamboo charcoal is 3000 square metres per gram, which gives it its incredible detoxifying virtues.
In addition, Takesumi contains many minerals: potassium, calcium and silicic acid. It also has a negative charge (negative ion) which naturally attracts toxic particles to it.
In 2004, a study conducted by the Kagoshima Forestry Division (Japan) showed that the PH of water purified with Takesumi changes from acid to alkaline. The study also showed that the absorption of volatile organic compounds was more efficient when the coal was carbonised at over 800°.
The different forms of Takesumi
Bamboo charcoal comes in 3 different forms: sticks, blocks and powder.
The sticks and blocks are used to purify water, absorb bad smells or moisture.
The powder, which can reach an extreme fineness, is one of the active ingredients and is used in the composition of care or culinary products. Its grains are non-abrasive and measure between 5 and 10 microns.
Protection of the environment and forests
Bamboo is a wood that proliferates and becomes mature in only 3-5 years. Unlike other woods (oak, beech...) which become mature between 20 and 50 years and are felled for charcoal production. Therefore, consuming bamboo charcoal can preserve our forests.
The yield of a bamboo plantation is 25 times higher than that of a forest of the same surface area. It makes it possible to fight against the greenhouse effect. Because of its very rapid growth, bamboo stores 4 to 5 times more carbon than an equivalent volume of trees, and produces 30% more oxygen.