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NPR Vol.4 [2005] >
NPR Vol.4(6) [November-December 2005] >


Title: Spices
Issue Date: Dec-2005
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Processing and preservation of spices are important for assuming the quality of the end-product. Microwave processing and cooking of foods is a recent development, which is gaining momentum in household as well as large-scale food applications. Processing of spices using microwaves is a newer dimension. This alternative methodology is preferred, due to the convenience and ease of handling. In Indian tradition, most of the spices are subjected to roasting before addition to food preparations. Cuminum cyminum Linn. is one widely used spice. Crushed cumin seeds are used as a condiment in a variety of dishes. Cumin seeds contain volatile oil (2-5%) that imparts the characteristic aroma to the seeds. In the present study which is conducted at Plantation Products, Spices and Flavour Technology Department, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India, cumin seeds are subjected to heating by microwaves, using various power levels and conventional roasting at different temperatures. The conditions were standardized in both methods. Conventionally roasted and microwave heated samples were compared; the optimum condition in the former method was found to be 125°C for 10 minutes and in the latter method, the best condition was found to be 730 W for 10 minutes. Under these conditions, the yields of the volatile oils were similar in both cases. Physicochemical properties, such as refractive index, for both sample oils, showed no significant difference from the fresh sample. The volatile oils distilled from these samples were analysed by GC and GC–MS. The results indicated that the microwave-heated samples showed better retention of characteristic flavour compounds, such as aldehydes, than did the conventionally roasted samples. Earlier GC reports showed the presence of only cuminaldehyde as the major aldehyde present in Indian cumin oil. But the present studies resulted in identification of two more aldehydes (p-mentha-1, 3-dien-7-al, p-mentha-1,4-dien-7-al) in Indian cumin oil. Thus, the microwave treatment, inspite of losing terpene hydrocarbons, retained aldehydes in the volatile oil, making microwaves the best choice as an alternative-heating medium for processing [Behera Sushmita, Nagarajan S and Rao L Jagan Mohan, Microwave heating and conventional roasting of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum L.) and effect on chemical composition of volatiles, Food Chem, 2004, 87 (1), 25-29].
Page(s): 513-514
ISSN: 0975-1092 (Online); 0972-592X (Print)
Source:NPR Vol.4(6) [November-December 2005]

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