Spice Bacterial Treatments For Export

Spice Bacterial Treatments For Export

In the East, spices and herbs have been used for centuries to enhance the aroma and flavor of food. Spice and herbs were known and used as active agents in preservation of foods. Practitioners in the East were familiar with the medicinal benefits of certain herbs and spices. These form an integral part of the constituents in Oriental medicine.

The first usage dates back nearly 5000 years. Spices and herbs were unknown to the Europeans until they went further afield in pursuit of trade and expansion. But once they were discovered and introduced into Europe they became an instant success and fetched exorbitant prices. A highly successful spice trade developed which was often the cause of bitter wars. Because of their popularity, spices and herbs these days are cultivated in home gardens where space permits. In the 20 years between 1980 and 2000, the per capita consumption of spices in the United States increased by 60 percent.

Spices come in various forms, all from tropical plants, bushes and trees. For instance, cinnamon is harvested from the bark of trees; ginger, garlic and onion from roots; saffron and cloves from buds; mustard, cardamom, sesame and poppy from seeds; pepper from berries. 

Bacterial contamination in spices results from the way they are grown, harvested, processed and stored. Contaminated spices have been the cause of many food borne diseases, Campylobacterand salmonella being the leading causes. Some spices exhibit a high antimicrobial property resulting in fewer microorganisms. Spices are required to be cleaned and decontaminated by irradiation, the use of ethylene oxide and other stipulated methods. Bacterial contamination is determined by micro-bacterial analyses in specialist laboratories. 

Standards are very clearly laid down for antibacterial treatment of spices and packaging for export. The US Food and Drug Administration is particularly vigilant and stringent in import of spices.

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Spice Bacterial Treatments For Export