Major Indian spices- An introspection on variability in quality

  • T. J. Zachariah ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode-673012, Kerala, India

Abstract

Indian spices like black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon are valued for their culinary and nutraceutical properties. The quality attributes that impart these properties are essential oil, oleoresin and the aroma/pungent principles. Variability in essential oil constituents of black pepper, relevance of bulk density, codex standards and role of phenolics in deciding quality traits possess great relevance in academic and industrial applications. Curing of turmeric and maturity at harvest play a crucial role in drying and curcumin content. Geographical location has great relevance in deciding the curcumin content of turmeric. Coumarin content of cinnamon and cassia has implications in industrial application. This article provides an introspection in to the research programmes on quality attributes of spices carried out at ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research for the last three decades in comparison with international scenario.

Keywords: Black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, curcumin, essential oil, ginger, gingerol, oleoresin, turmeric

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