Sangeetha Pulapaka

India is ‘The Land of Spices’ and the glory of Indian spices is known throughout the world. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines

spices and condiments as “vegetable products or mixtures thereof free from extraneous matter, It is used for flavouring, seasoning and imparting aroma in foods”. The term “applies equally to the product in the whole form or in the ground form”. According to American Spices Trade Association (ASTA) list, there are 41 items. Spices Board of India has 52 spices under it’s list. According to Bureau of Indian Standards, there are 63 items under spices / condiments. Spices have been so valued primarily for their ability to make food taste better and sometimes for a

perceived ability to make people feel better and fight disease. Spices are even more important today as around globe there is a clamour for tastier and’spicier’ foods. Spices or their extracts are also used in medicine, pharmaceutical, perfumery, cosmetics and several other industries. Their functional properties as antioxidants, preservatives, anti-microbial, antibiotic and medicinal have

been well recoganised and made use of. Spices have also characteristic, often very attractive colours, which are an important part of their appeal to be used as natural colours in the foodstuffs. The concept of flavour in spices comprises a range of olfactory and tastes perceptions. The constituents responsible for these sensations are the volatile / essential oil and resinous compounds, which are a wide range of different natural organic chemicals and which generally have little or no nutritional value. These are also widely used for making ‘herbal’ teas.

Export of Spices

Agricultural commodities contribute around 7 % of total export from India and spices contribute around 3% of the total agricultural commodities exported from India. Spices share around 0.27 % to the total export from India.

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