Spices are processed, cleaned, graded and carefully packaged for overseas dispatch in the countries where they are cultivated. They are dried to preserve them for transport and storage. In consumer countries, they are delivered to spice mills, where they are cleaned and graded again, ready for sale in unground or ground form.
The term spice is used to refer to plant parts which serve to improve the odor and flavor of foods. They contain essential oils and other ingredients which have a strong seasoning action.
Spices are classified by the plant parts used:
- Fruit and seed spices (e.g. pepper, allspice, cardamom)
- Bud and flower spices (e.g. cloves)
- Bark spices (e.g. cinnamon)
- Root spices (ginger, turmeric)
- Leaf spices (bay leaf)
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