Spices
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Spices. Volatile Oils. Introduction. Spice: An aromatic and/or pungent plant product, employed for imparting an aroma to food. Food adjuncts, and owing to their principles , stimulate secretion of gastric juices, thereby increasing appetite and aiding digestion.

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Spices

Spices

Volatile Oils


Introduction
Introduction

  • Spice: An aromatic and/or pungent plant product, employed for imparting an aroma to food.

  • Food adjuncts, and owing to their principles , stimulate secretion of gastric juices, thereby increasing appetite and aiding digestion.

  • Has very small nutritive value, though some possess appreciable amounts of proteins, starches and oils


History
History

  • Spices were much sought out products and used in preservatives, beverages, medicines, and even exchange for money

  • Spices were among the first objects of commerce between East and West

  • Columbus’s famous voyage was inspired by the idea of finding a shorter route to India, the home of many spices


Uses

  • Important food adjuncts

    • Help to avoid monotony

    • Disguise unpleasant odor

    • Aid digestion

    • Increase rate of perspiration, resulting in lowering body temperature.

  • Medicinal – carminative and antispectic

  • Perfumes, soaps, incenses, dyes


Chemistry
Chemistry

  • Terpenes, alkaloids, phenols and sulfur containing compounds

  • Volatile oils, or essential oils

  • Terpenes: Basic unit is isoprene unit (C5)

  • Monoterpenes (C10): small non-polar therefore volatile.


Ecology
Ecology

  • Volatile compounds used to attract pollinators and repel herbivores.

  • Some compounds are allelopathic - prevent the growth of other plants via inhibition of germination and killing competitors.


Herb or a spice
Herb or a spice??

  • What’s in the name?


Spices from mediterranean region lamiaceae
Spices from Mediterranean RegionLamiaceae

  • Mint family with fragrant leaves. Mainly has monoterpenes such as carvone, thymol, menthol.. Also contain gums, resins and tannins; carminative

  • Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis – borneol; used mainly tea, perfume, and cookingThyme - Thymus vulgaris – Thymol; mouth washes, cough drops, cookingOregano - Origanum vulgare - Italian foodMarjoram - Origanum majorana - milder flavor than oreganoBasil - Ocimum basilicum - basil - pasta saucesSage - Salvia officinalis - Used medicinally by Greeks through Middle Ages but modern testing indicates sage has no medicinal properties. Used to flavor poultry and other meats, especially sausage.Spearmint - Mentha spicataPeppermint - Mentha peperita - most frequently used mint - jelly, candy, medicines, obnoxious gum commercials, etc.


Magic mint
Magic Mint

  • Sage plant: Salvia divinorum

    • Active ingredient, Salvinorin A, is a powerful hallucinogen; Dr. Bryan Roth, Case Western Reserve University

    • Same as LSD – specific to a single receptor in the brain.

    • Most potent naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug

    • Similar to opioids

    • an instantaneous trip to another time and place

    • Usually unpleasant


Carrot family apiaceae
Carrot familyApiaceae

  • Fruit is a cremocarp, with two easily separable mericarps (looks like seed) Different set of monoterpenes. Limonene, pinene, linool.

  • Herbage

    • Parsley - Petroselinum crispum – garnish

    • Chervil - Anthriscus cerefolium

    • Dill - Anethum graveolens – pickling

    • Cilantro - Coriandrum sativum - Mexican, Indian dishes

  • Dried fruits (Spices) - fruit is composed of pericarp and seed, oils are in fruit wall

    • Fennel - Foeniculum vulgare - Italian sausage

    • Cumin - Cuminum cyminum - Indian and Mexican foods

    • Anise - Pimpinella anisum - Licorice flavor

    • Celery seed - Apium sativum

    • Caraway seed - Carum carvi -rye breads, sauerkraut


Brassicaceae
Brassicaceae

  • Glucosinolates changing to thiocyntes upon crushing

    • Sulfur containing compounds

    • Myrosinase (enzyme) spatially separated; hydrolyses the compound

  • Spices:

    • Black mustard - Brassica nigra - native to Europe

    • White mustard - Brassica alba

    • Horseradish- Armoracia rusticana - grated roots

  • Odds and endsTarragon - Artemisia dracunculus – Asteraceae; used in vinegar in S. RussiaBay leaves - Laurus nobilis – Lauraceae; from MeditteraneanSaffron - Crocus sativus - Iridaceae (Iris family), most costly spice, comes from stigmas, requires 150,000 flowers/kg


Spices from old world tropics
Spices from Old World Tropics

  • "True" cinnamon - Cinnamomum zeylandica "Common" cinnamon - Cinnamomum cassia (Lauracceae)

    • Both cinnamons are from SE Asia and are obtained from the bark. Tannins, mucilage, starch and sweet mannitol.

  • Cloves - Syzygium aromaticum – Myrtaceae; from Spice Islands or Indonesia, harvested as immature flower buds, used in Indonesian cigars, clove oil, but oil can be synthetically produced.

  • Nutmet and mace - Myristica fragrans - nutmeg is the dried endosperm of seed, not a true nut, toxic in large quantities, put on egg nog; mace is netlike aril around seed. Myristicin – hallucinogenic.

  • Cardamon - Elettaria cardamomum – Zinger family; oils originally used in medicine, now used in Indian cooking and Danish pastry

  • Ginger - Zingiber officinale – rhizome

  • Pepper - Piper nigrum - drupes, most important spice in terms of quantities, can make raw drupes into black or white pepper depending on processing


New world spices
New World Spices

  • Allspice - Pimenta dioica - mostly grown in Jamaica, combination of flavors of cinnamon, cloves and netmeg. Unripe fruit –eugenol

  • Peppers:

    • Bell peppers, chiltecpin (tiny and hot) - Capsicum annuum - paprika is made from dried, powdered members of this species

    • Pungent peppers - Capsicum fructescens - tabasco sauceCompound responsible for hot flavor is capsaicin, which is contained in the placenta

  • Vanilla - Vanilla planifolia - only crop from Orchidaceae - over 20,000 species in this family, fruit is called a bean but is a false berry from an inferior ovary, vanilla is the 2nd most expensive spice due to laborious cultivation and processing requirements, vanilla can be made synthetically but taste is inferior to natural vanilla.


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