Handbook of herbs and spices, Volume 2

Woodhead Publishing in Food Science and Technology

Edited by K. V. Peter

CRC Press

Boca Raton Boston New York Washington, DC

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 365 p
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 1 85573 835 X (e-book), Woodhead Publishing
 0-8493-2535-8, CRC Press
 CRC Press order number: WP2535
 2004, Woodhead Publishing Ltd 
 The authors have asserted their moral rights 

(* = main point of contact)

Chapter 1
Professor K. V. Peter*
Kerala Agricultural University KAU – PO, Vellanikkara Thrissur, Kerala State
India – 680656, Tel: 0487 2370034, Fax: 0487 2370019
E-mail: vckau@sancharnet.in , kvptr@yahoo.com

Dr K. Nirmal Babu
Indian Institute of Spices Research Calicut – 673 012 India
Tel: 0495 2731410, Fax: 0495 2730294
E-mail: nirmalbabu30@hotmail.com

Chapter 2
M. R. Shylaja and Professor K. V. Peter*
Kerala Agricultural University P O KAU 680656, Vellanikkara Thrissur, Kerala State
India – 680656, Tel: 0487 2370034, Fax: 0487 2370019
E-mail: vckau@sancharnet.in , kvptr@yahoo.com

Chapter 3
Dr C. C. Tassou
National Agricultural Research Foundation 
Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products
S Venizelou 1 Lycovrisi 14123 Greece
Tel: +30 210 2845940, Fax: +30 210 2840740
E-mail: microlab.itap@nagref.gr

Professor G.-J. E. Nychas* and
Dr P. N. Skandamis
Agricultural University of Athens Department of Food Science and Technology
Iera Odos 75 Athens 11855 Greece
Tel/Fax: +30 10 529 4693, E-mail: gjn@aua.gr

Chapter 4
Dr R. Rodenburg
TNO Pharma Utrechtseweg 48 3704HE Zeist, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 30 6944844, Fax: +31 30 6944845
E-mail: pharma-office@pharma.tno.nl

Chapter 5
P. N. Ravindran* and G. S. Pillai
Centre for Medicinal Plants Research Arya Vaidya Sala
Kottakkal – 676 503, Kerala India
Tel: 0483 2743430, Fax: 0483 2742572/2742210
E-mail: avscmpr@sify.com , avscmpr@yahoo.co.in

Dr K. Nirmal Babu
Indian Institute of Spices Research Calicut – 676 012 India
Tel: 0495 2731410, Fax: 0495 2730294
E-mail: nirmalbabu30@hotmail.com

Chapter 6
Dr S. K. Malhotra* and Dr O. P. Vijay
National Research Centre on Seed Spices, Ajmer – 305 206, Rajasthan, India
Tel: +91 145 2680955, Fax: +91 145 2443238
E-mail: malhotraskraj@yahoo.com

Chapter 7
Mr B. Krishnamoorthy* and Dr J. Rema
Indian Institute of Spices Research 
Calicut 673 012 Kerala India
E-mail: bkrishnamoorthy@rediffmail.com

Chapter 8
Dr A. A. Farooqi* and K. N. Srinivasappa
Division of Horticulture University of Agricultural Sciences 
GKVK Bangalore India
E-mail: azharfarooqi@sify.com

Chapter 9
Dr M. M. Sharma* and Dr R. K. Sharma
Rajasthan Agricultural University Bikaner India
E-mail: mmohanrau@yahoo.com

Chapter 10
Dr M. T. Lis-Balchin
School of Applied Science South Bank University
103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA
E-mail: lisbalmt@lsbu.ac.uk

Chapter 11
Dr M. T. Lis-Balchin
School of Applied Science South Bank University
103 Borough Road London SE1 0AA
E-mail: lisbalmt@lsbu.ac.uk

Chapter 12
Dr J. Thomas*, K. M. Kuruvilla and
T. K. Hrideek
ICRI Spices Board Kailasanadu PO Kerala, India – 685 553
E-mail: jtkotmala@hotmail.com

Chapter 13
Dr S. K. Malhotra
National Research Centre on Seed Spices
Ajmer – 305 206 Rajasthan India
Tel: +91 145 2680955. Fax: +91 145 2443238
E-mail: malhotraskraj@yahoo.com

Chapter 14
Professor S. Kintzios
Laboratory of Plant Physiology Agricultural University of Athens
Iera Odos 75 11855 Athens Greece
Tel: +3210 5294292, Fax: +3210 5294286
E-mail: skin@aua.gr

Chapter 15
Dr D. J. Charles
Frontier Natural Products Co-op
3021 78th Street Norway, IA 52318 USA
E-mail: denys.charles@frontiercoop.com

Chapter 16
Dr B. Sasikumar
Indian Institute of Spices Research
Marikunnu (PO) Calicut – 673 012 Kerala India
Tel: 91 495 2731410, Fax: 91 495 2730294
Email: bhaskaransasikumar@yahoo.com

Chapter 17
Dr D. M. Hegde
Directorate of Oilseeds Research
Rajendranagar Hyderabad – 500 030 Andhra Pradesh India
Tel: +91 040 24015222, Fax: +91 040 24017969
E-mail: dmhegde@rediffmail.com

Chapter 18
C.K. George
Peermade Development Society
Post Box 11 veermade – 685531 Idukki Dist. Kerala India
E-mail: ckgeorge@vsnl.com

Chapter 19
Professor E. Stahl-Biskup*
University of Hamburg Institute of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Biology and Microbiology
Bundesstrasse 45 D-20146 Hamburg Germany
Tel: +49 (0)40 42838 3896
Fax: +49 (0)40 42838 3895
E-mail: elisabeth.stahl-biskup , @uni-hamburg.de

Professor R. P. Venskutonis
Head of Department of Food Technology
Radvilenu pl. 19 Kaunas LT – 3028 Lithuania
Tel: +370 37 456426
Fax: +370 37 456647
E-mail: rimas.venskutonis@ktu.lt

Chapter 20
Dr C. C. de Guzman
Department of Horticulture College of Agriculture
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Los Baños Laguna 4031 Philippines
Tel: (63-49) 536 2448
Fax: (63-49) 536 2478
E-mail: tanchodg@lb.msc.net.ph

K. V. Peter, Kerala Agricultural University, India and K. Nirmal Babu, Indian Institute of Spices Research, India

Introduction to herbs and spices
The history of herbs and spices is as long as the history of mankind. People have used these
plants since earliest times. No other commodity has played a more pivotal role in the
development of modern civilization as spices. The lives of people and plants are more
entwined than is often realized. Some herbs have the power to change our physiological
functioning, they have revolutionized medicine, created fortunes for those who grow,
process and treat them, and in many cases have assumed social and religious significance.
Herbs have changed the course of history and in economic terms have greater importance as
ingredients in food and medicine, perfumery, cosmetics and garden plants. The knowledge
of herbs has been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years
(Brown, 1995). Wars have been fought and lands conquered for the sake of these plants.
Even today we continue to depend on herbs and spices for many of our newest medicines,
chemicals and flavours and they are used in culinary preparations, perfumery and cosmetics.
Many medicinal herbs are also food, oil and fibre plants and have always been grown for a
range of purposes (Parry, 1969; Rosengarten, 1973; Andi et al., 1997).
The term ‘herb’ has more than one definition. In the most generally accepted sense,
herbs are plants valued for their medicinal and aromatic properties and are often grown
and harvested for these unique properties. Some of the earliest of herb gardens were
planted about 4000 years ago in Egypt. Herb growing was often associated with temples,
which required herbs and sacred flowers for daily worship and rituals. Both horticulture
and botany began with the study of herbs. The earliest gardens were herb gardens. The
present-day concept of a herb garden has developed largely from ancient Egyptian,
Christian and Islamic traditions. In most parts of the world, herbs are grown mainly as
field crops or on a small scale as a catch-crop among vegetables and ornamentals as they
were thousands of years ago. The cultivation requirements of some of the most important
herbs are given in Table 1.1.

1.2 Uses of herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have tremendous importance in the way we live, as ingredients in food,
alcoholic beverages, medicine, perfumery, cosmetics, colouring and also as garden plants.
Spices and herbs are used in foods to impart flavour, pungency and colour. They also have
antioxidant, antimicrobial, pharmaceutical and nutritional properties. In addition to the
known direct effects, the use of these plants can also lead to complex secondary effects such
as salt and sugar reduction, improvement of texture and prevention of food spoilage. The
basic effects of spices when used in cooking and confectionery can be for flavouring,
deodorizing/masking, pungency and colouring (Table 1.2). They are also used to make food
and confectionery more appetizing and palatable. Some spices, such as turmeric and
paprika, are used more for imparting an attractive colour than for enhancing taste. The
major colour components of spices are given in Table 1.3. Because of their antioxidant and
antimicrobial properties, spices have dual function – in addition to imparting flavour and
taste, they play a major role in food preservation by delaying the spoilage of food. Many
herbs and spices have been used in cosmetics, perfumery and beauty and body care since
ancient times. The toiletries and allied industries use spices and herbs and their fragrant oils
for the manufacture of soaps, toothpastes, face packs, lotions, freshness sachets, toilet
waters and hair oils. They are essential ingredients in beauty care as cleansing agents,
infusions, skin toners, moisturizers, eye lotions, bathing oils, shampoos and hair conditioners,
cosmetic creams, antiseptic and antitanning lotions and creams, improvement of
complexion and purifying blood (Pamela, 1987; Ravindran et al., 2002). Spices form an
important component in quite a few alcoholic beverages and beers (Table 1.4).

Medicinal uses
Herbs and spices have been an essential factor in health care through the ages in all cultures.
They are prepared in number of ways to extract their active ingredients for internal and
external use. There are a number of different systems of herbal medicine, the most important
of which are Chinese and Indian (Ayurvedic) systems of medicine. All spices are medicinal
and are used extensively in indigenous systems of medicine. Some of the important uses of
major medicinal spices in Ayurveda, according to Mahindru (1982), are given in Table 1.5.
Extracts from herbs and spices are used as infusions, decoctions, macerations, tinctures,
fluid extracts, teas, juices, syrups, poultices, compresses, oils, ointments and powders.
Many medicinal herbs used in Ayurveda have multiple bioactive principles. It is not
always easy to isolate compounds and demonstrate that the efficacy can be attributed to any
one of the active principles. However, the active principles and their molecular mechanism
of action of some of the medicinal plants are being studied (Tables 1.6 and 1.7).

1.3 Active plant constituents
Herbs and spices are rich in volatile oils, which give pleasurable aromas. In addition, herbs
may contain alkaloids and glycosides, which are of greater interest to pharmacologists.
Some of the main active constituents in herbs are as follows 
(Brown, 1995; De Guzman and Sienonsma, 1999):
• Acids – these are sour, often antiseptic and cleansing.
• Alkaloids – these are bitter, often based on alkaline nitrogenous compounds. They affect
the central nervous system and many are very toxic and addictive.
• Anthraquinones – these are bitter, irritant and laxative, acting also as dyes.
• Bitters – various compounds, mainly iridoides and sesquiterpenes with a bitter taste that
increases and improves digestion.
• Coumarines – are antibacterial, anticoagulant, with a smell of new-mown hay.
• Flavones – these are bitter or sweet, often diuretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic and antiinflammatory.
Typically yellow, and present in most plants.
• Glycosides – there are four main kinds of glycosides.
cardiac: affecting heart contractions;
synogenic: bitter, antispasmodic sedative, affecting heart rate and respiration;
mustard oil: acrid, extremely irritant; sulphur: acrid, stimulant, antibiotic.
• Gums and mucilages – these are bland, sticky or slimy, soothing and softening.
• Resins – often found as oleo-resins or oleo-gum resins – they are acrid, astringent, antiseptic, healing.
• Saponins – are sweet, stimulant hormonal, often anti-inflammatory, or diuretic, soapy in water.
• Tannins – are astringent, often antiseptic, checking bleeding and discharges.
• Volatile oils – are aromatic, antiseptic, fungicidal, irritant and stimulant.

1.3.1 Genetic erosion in herbs and spices
People all over the world have picked and uprooted herbs from the wild since ancient times.
Medicinal herbs in particular have always been mainly collected from the wild and the
knowledge of where they grow and the best time to gather them has formed an important oral
tradition among healers of many different countries in many different cultures. These
ancient traditions successfully balance supply and demand, allowing plant stock to regenerate
seasonally. Owing to the strong commercial pressures of food and pharmaceutical
industries of today, the balance now has been disrupted by unregulated gathering, leading to
severe genetic erosion. Some of the most commonly used culinary herbs such as chilli
peppers (Capsicum annuum var. annuum) and basil (Ocimum basilicum) have such a long
history of use and cultivation that truly wild plants have never been recorded. They
presumably became extinct because of over-collection.

1.4 The structure of this book
This book is the second volume for the series on Herbs and Spices and has two parts. The
first part deals with health benefits of herbs and spices and the use of herbs and spices as
antimicrobials and antioxidants. The second part deals with detailed information on individual
spices. This covers a brief description, classification, production, cultivation,
post-harvest handling, uses in food processing, chemical structure and functional properties
of important compounds extracted and quality specifications. The crops covered are tree
spices such as allspice and star anise, and important herbs such as chervil, coriander,
oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme. A few other spices such as vanilla and sesame are also included.

Table of Contents
List of contributors
1 Introduction
K. V. Peter, Kerala Agricultural University, India and K. Nirmal Babu,
Indian Institute of Spices Research, India
1.1 Introduction to herbs and spices
1.2 Uses of herbs and spices
1.3 Active plant constituents
1.4 The structure of this book
1.5 References

Part I General issues
2 The functional role of herbal spices
M. R. Shylaja and K. V. Peter, Kerala Agricultural University, India
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Classification
2.3 Production, consumption and processing
2.4 Functional properties
2.5 Sources of further information
3 Herbs and spices and antimicrobials
C. C. Tassou, National Agricultural Research Foundation, Greece, and G.-J.
E. Nychas and P. N. Skandamis, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Barriers to the use of herb and spice essential oils as antimicrobials in foods
3.3 Measuring antimicrobial activity
3.4 Studies in vitro
3.5 Applications in food systems
3.6 Mode of action and development of resistance
3.7 Legislation
3.8 Future prospects and multifactorial preservation
3.9 References
4 Screening for health effects of herbs
R. Rodenburg, TNO Pharma, The Netherlands
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Types of assays
4.3 Throughput vs content assays
4.4 Assay quality
4.5 Screening bio-active compounds
4.6 Screening experiments for anti-inflammatory properties
4.7 Future trends
4.8 Sources of further information
4.9 References
5 Under-utilized herbs and spices
P. N. Ravindran and Geetha S. Pillai, Centre for Medicinal Plants Research,
India and K. Nirmal Babu, Indian Institute of Spices Research, India
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Sweet flag
5.3 Greater galangal
5.4 Angelica
5.5 Horseradish
5.6 Black caraway
5.7 Capers
5.8 Asafoetida
5.9 Hyssop
5.10 Galangal
5.11 Betel vine
5.12 Pomegranate
5.13 Summer savory
5.14 Winter savory
5.15 Other
5.16 References

Part II Particular herbs and spices
6 Ajowan
S. K. Malhotra and O. P. Vijay, National Research Centre on Seed Spices, India
6.1 Introduction and description
6.2 Production
6.3 Cultivation
6.4 Chemical structure
6.5 Main uses in food processing
6.6 Functional properties and toxicity
6.7 Quality issues
6.8 References
7 Allspice
B. Krishnamoorthy and J. Rema, Indian Institute of Spices Research, India
7.1 Introduction and description
7.2 Production and trade
7.3 Chemical composition
7.4 Cultivation
7.5 Uses
7.6 Functional properties
7.7 Quality issues and adulteration
7.8 References
8 Chervil
A. A. Farooqi and K. N. Srinivasappa, University of Agricultural Sciences, India
8.1 Introduction and description
8.2 Cultivation and production technology
8.3 Uses
8.4 Sources of further information
9 Coriander
M. M. Sharma and R.K. Sharma, Rajasthan Agricultural University, India
9.1 Introduction and description
9.2 Origin and distribution
9.3 Chemical composition
9.4 Cultivation and post-harvest practices
9.5 Uses
9.6 Diseases, pests and the use of pesticides
9.7 Quality issues
9.8 Value addition
9.9 Future research trends
9.10 References
Appendix I
Appendix II
10 Geranium
M. T. Lis-Balchin, South Bank University, UK
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Chemical composition
10.3 Production and cultivation
10.4 Main uses in food processing and perfumery
10.5 Functional properties
10.6 Quality issues and adulteration
10.7 References
11 Lavender
M. T. Lis-Balchin, South Bank University, UK
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Chemical composition
11.3 Production
11.4 Uses in food processing, perfumery and paramedical spheres
11.5 Functional properties and toxicity
11.6 Quality issues and adulteration
11.7 References
12 Mustard
J. Thomas, K. M. Kuruvilla and T. K. Hrideek, ICRI Spices Board, India
12.1 Introduction and description
12.2 Chemical composition
12.3 Production and cultivation
12.4 Uses
12.5 Properties
12.6 Quality specifications
12.7 References
13 Nigella
S. K. Malhotra, National Research Centre on Seed Spices, India
13.1 Introduction and description
13.2 Chemical structure
13.3 Cultivation
13.4 Main uses in food processing
13.5 Functional properties and toxicity
13.6 Quality specifications and adulteration
13.7 References
14 Oregano
S. E. Kintzios, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
14.1 Introduction and description
14.2 Chemical structure
14.3 Production and cultivation
14.4 Main uses in food processing and medicine
14.5 Functional properties
14.6 Quality specifications and commercial issues
14.7 References
15 Parsley
D. J. Charles, Frontier Natural Products, USA
15.1 Introduction and description
15.2 Chemical composition
15.3 Production and cultivation
15.4 Organic farming
15.5 General uses
15.6 Essential oils and their physicochemical properties
15.7 References
16 Rosemary
B. Sasikumar, Indian Institute of Spices Research, India
16.1 Introduction and description
16.2 Chemical composition
16.3 Production and cultivation
16.4 Post-harvest technology
16.5 Uses
16.6 Toxicology and disease
16.7 Conclusion
16.8 References
17 Sesame
D. M. Hegde, Directorate of Oilseeds Research, India
17.1 Introduction
17.2 Chemical composition
17.3 Production
17.4 Processing
17.5 Uses
17.6 Future research needs
17.7 References
18 Star anise
C. K. George, Peermade Development Society, India
18.1 Introduction, morphology and related species
18.2 Histology
18.3 Production and cultivation
18.4 Main uses
18.5 References
19 Thyme
E. Stahl-Biskup, University of Hamburg, Germany and R. P. Venskutonis,
Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
19.1 Introduction
19.2 Chemical structure
19.3 Production
19.4 Main uses in food processing
19.5 Functional properties and toxicity
19.6 Quality specifications and issues
19.7 References
20 Vanilla
C. C. de Guzman, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines
20.1 Introduction and description
20.2 Production and trade
20.3 Cultivation
20.4 Harvesting, yield and post-production activities
20.5 Uses
20.6 Vanilla products
20.7 Functional properties
20.8 Quality issues and adulteration
20.9 Improving production of natural vanillin
20.10 Future outlook
20.11 References


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First published 2004, Woodhead Publishing Ltd and CRC Press LLC

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