The cardamoms of commerce are the fruits and seeds of the cardamom plant and they comprise one of the most important and costly spices of the world. Cardamoms are liable to loss in weight particularly if immaturely picked. Heat does not affect the value of cardamoms, it only results in loss in weight through over-drying of the outer shell which contains the seeds. Contact with sea-water or fresh water or sweat during voyage results in the outer shell containing the seeds becoming blackish. Depending upon the degree of contact with water, cardamoms may suffer badly. In case of damage through water, damaged goods should be separated as quickly as possible from sound goods by picking by hand which ever is the smaller quantity - the damaged or the sound. See also SPICES.
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