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To make our dishes rich in their flavor, what can you think of as an option to add without adding extra calories and fats? Yes! Spices and condiments are the ones with these quantities. Don't you think it would be really interesting to know how these spices reach our cuisines to make them more attractive and pleasing?
Processing and trade of spices can be considered as one of the biggest industries in terms of need. Even it has a great impact on many country's economies like- Sri Lanka, Grenada, Indonesia, etc. Small scale or large, these spice processing and trade has a major positive impact on the population to become economically and socially successful.
The perfect time of harvesting is identified according to the type of spice. Immature or overripe plants can lead to a low-quality spice that may not further serve a good flavor to foods.
After the harvesting process, the crop should undergo the winnowing process, which is the removal of dirt by low-velocity winds. This step can remove small pebbles or girt from the crop and ready for the water wash. After this step, the crop is set for the bath under running water or if not running, it should be regularly changed in small intervals.
Sun drying is enough in this season as the intensity of the sun's heat is enough to dry the moisture required to use the crop production as a spice. Also, solar driers are preferred as compared to sundry as it protects the crop from dirt or any kind of impurity.
The season doesn't serve the high intense heat from the sun. So, it becomes really important to use other basic machines to dry the moisture. Locally available items like- coir fiber or bamboo can be used to make basic machines for drying.
Grading is the process of differentiating among the mass over some common qualities. So, the grading of spices is done based on shape, size, color, or flavor.
Grinding is a step that should be followed very cautiously as this step determines the final quality of the produce. The chances of adulteration are so high and heat generated at the machinery should also be checked. This is not a major issue in a small scale industry but can affect the spice on a larger scale.
Many different practices are adopted for the organic production of spices. The land should be adopted with more productivity and water retention methods should also be found out. Fields should have crops grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and thus protecting the genotype and thus the quality of the produce. Crops are handpicked and cleaning of the crops is permitted by vacuum, steam, or high-pressure water. Sun drying is used for dehydration of the moisture and the grinding step is hand ground only or if basic machinery is used, the heat generated is accordingly as none can lose its quality. The packaging did with biodegradable packaging material only.
Many of the population prefers to use the spices that are home-prepared as they have the fresh flavor and texture to serve in the food. Also, it becomes really difficult to use the whole spice every time we cook food so ground spices are preferred.
For making your ground spice at home, get the desired whole spice and make dehydrate it in a pan on low flame or you can dry under the sun for better flavor. After dehydration, you can hand ground the spices to store them in an airtight container for further use.
From 3500 BC, spices have been a major part of everyone's cuisine. Not only as an ingredient but also as a first aid medication for a part of medicinal treatment. Their processing has changed a lot in these years and mass production has led to the degradation of the product. We are not getting the real flavor of the spices that they have got from nature. These long processes and heavy machinery have taken away the freshness of spices. Organic processing to some extent has an edge over this as they don't use undergo any of these processes which can lose the quality of spices.