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E. Bleached and Half Bleached Cardamom

E. Bleached and Half Bleached Cardamom

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342



Table XXXII

Specifications (Physical Characteristics) for Indian Cardamom Varieties



Grade



Description



Size (mm)



Weight minimum

(g literÀ1)



Color



General characteristics



7



435



Green



AGS

AGS 1

AGL



5

4

3.5



385

320–350

260



Green

Light

Green



CG, Coorg Green

CGEB

Extra bold



8



450



Golden to

light green



CGB

CG 1

CG 2

CG 3

CG 4



7.5

6.5

6

5

3.5



435

415

385

350

280



Light green

Green

Cream

Brown



Round, ribbed or smooth skin



Bleached or half bleached

BL 1

BL 2



8.5

7



340

340



Pale

Creamy



Fully developed

Round, three cornered, ribbed or

smooth skin



BL 3



5



300



Dull white



Superior

Shipment

Light



Bold

Superior

Mota Green

Shipment

Light



Source: Indian Standard Specification for Cardamom. IS: 1907–1966. Indian Standards Institution, New Delhi.



Kiln dried, three cornered, and with

ribbed appearance

Same as above



K. P. PRABHAKARAN NAIR



AG, Alleppey Green

AGB

Extra bold



Grade designation

CCS 1

CCS 2

CC 3

CC 4



Trade name

Bold

Coorg Green or

Mota Green

Shipment

Light



Empty and

malformed

capsules by

count (max. %)



Unclipped

capsules by

count (max. %)



Immature and

shriveled

capsules by

weight (%)



5.0

5.0



0.0

3.0



0.0

4.0



8.5

6.0



435

385



3.0



5.0



7.0

3.5



4.0

260



350



Size (mm)



Weight

minimum

(g literÀ1)



THE AGRONOMY AND ECONOMY OF CARDAMOM



Table XXXIII

The Agmark Specifications of Coorg Clipped Cardamom



343



344



Table XXXIV

The Agmark Specifications of Bleachable White Cardamom



BW 1

BW 2

BW 3

BW 4



Trade name

Mysore/Mangalore bleachable

cardamom clipped

Mysore/Mangalore bleachable

cardamom unclipped

Bleachable bulk

cardamom clipped

Bleachable bulk

cardamom unclipped



Empty and malformed

by count (max.)



Immature and

shriveled by

weight (%)



Size (mm)



Weight

minimum

(g literÀ1)



1.0



0.0



7.0



460



1.0



0.0



7.0



460



2.0



0.0



4.3



435



2.0



0.0



4.3



435



K. P. PRABHAKARAN NAIR



Grade

designation



THE AGRONOMY AND ECONOMY OF CARDAMOM



345



Table XXXV

Agmark Specifications of Mangalore Cardamom Seeds

Grade

designation

MS 1

MS 2

MS 3



Trade name



Extraneous matter

by weight (%)



Light seeds by

weight (%)



Weight minimum

(g literÀ1)



Prime

Shipment

Brokens



1.0

2.0

5.0



3.5

5.0



675

460



Note: Extraneous matter: Includes calyx pieces, stalk bits, and other foreign matter. Light seeds:

Includes seeds brown or red in color and broken, immature and shriveled seeds.



Table XXXVI

Agmark Specifications of Alleppey Cardamom Seeds



Grade

designation

AS 1

AS 2

AS 3



Trade name



Extraneous

matter by

weight (%)



Prime

Shipment

Brokens



1.0

2.0

5.0



Light seeds by

weight (%)



Weight minimum

(g/l)



3.0

5.0



675

460



2. The aroma and taste of cardamom in capsules and seeds should be

characteristic, fresh, and free from foreign aroma and taste, including

rancidity and mustiness.

3. Cardamom capsules and seeds should be free from living insects, moulds

and should be practically free from dead insects, its fragments, and rodent

contamination.

4. The mass of cardamom capsules or seeds contained in 1 liter should be as

specified for diVerent grades.

5. Cardamom should be free from visible dirt or dust. Extraneous matter,

such as bits of calyx, stalks, and others, shall not be more than 5% by

weight in cardamom capsules and 0.5–2% by weight in diVerent grades of

cardamom seeds.

6. The proportion of empty or malformed capsules, from opening and

examining 100 capsules taken from the sample, should not be more than

1–7% by count, varying with grade specifications.

7. The proportion of immature and shriveled capsules separated according

to specified methods should not be more than 2–7% (m mÀ1).

8. Capsules having black color and those which are split open at corners

for more than half the length should not be found in bold grades, and

not more than 10% and 15% by count in the ‘‘shipment’’ and ‘‘light’’

grades.



346



K. P. PRABHAKARAN NAIR

Table XXXVII

The Physical and Chemical Specifications of Whole Cardamom



Specification



Suggested limits



ASTA cleanliness specifications

Whole dead insects by count

Mammalian excreta (mg lbÀ1)

Other excreta (mg lbÀ1)

Mould (% by weight)

Insect defiled, infested (% by weight)

Extraneous matter (% by weight)



4

3

1.0

1.0

1.0

0.5



FDA DALs

Volatile oil

Moisture

Ash

Acid insoluble ash



None

3% minimum

12% maximum

10% maximum

2% maximum



Average bulk index (mg/100 g)

Bleached

Green



320

250



Table XXXVIII

The Physical and Chemical Specifications of Ground Cardamom

Specification

FDA DALs

Volatile oil

Moisture

Total ash

Acid insoluble ash

Military Specifications

(EE‐S‐631J, 1981)‐Decorticated Cardamom

Volatile oil (ml/100 g)

Moisture

Total ash

Acid insoluble ash

Granulation

Bulk index (2 ml/100 g)



Suggested limits

None

3% minimum

12% maximum

10% maximum

2% maximum



3% minimum

12% maximum

7% maximum

3% maximum

95% minimum through a

US$40

190



9. The proportion of cardamom seeds which are light brown, broken, or

immature (shriveled) should not be more than 3–5% (m mÀ1).

The chemical and physical specifications for whole and ground cardamom

are given in Tables XXXVII and XXXVIII.



THE AGRONOMY AND ECONOMY OF CARDAMOM



F.



COMMERCIAL CARDAMOM GRADES



IN



347



SRI LANKA



Most of the cardamom produced in Sri Lanka is exported. The traders use

various designations for cardamom such as the ones given later (Guenther, 1952).

1. Green cardamom

Kandy type: Relatively large, dark greenish in color

Copernicus type: Slightly smaller than the Kandy type, generally green in

color

General faq. Type: Small cardamom, grayish green in color

2. Bleached cardamom: Malabar half‐bleached: Fair and of average quality,

small capsules

Curtius: Fair in size, rather long capsules

Cleophas: Fair in size, roundish capsules

3. Seeds

Crispus type: Freshly removed seeds obtained by the dehusking of either

green or bleached capsules

In general, the trade distinguishes between decorticated cardamom, green

cardamom, and bleached cardamom.



G.



GRADING AND PACKING



Cardamom, which is sun dried or dried in a dryer, has to be protected from

absorption of moisture, contamination with extraneous matter which might

impart unpleasant odor, microorganisms, and insect infestation. The specific

requirement of packing cardamom is the protection of the product from

sunlight in order to maintain the husk color, green, or golden color of the

bleached cardamom. Cardamom is a high‐value crop, the second most important spice crop of the world, and every care has to be taken to eYciently process

and grade it, besides curing. Sieves of diVerent mesh sizes, namely, 6,7, 7.5, and

8 mm are available for sieving which have to be manually operated. After

sieving the capsules and grouping them into diVerent grades, it is essential to

sort out the ‘‘splits,’’ thrips and borer‐infested capsules separately. Presently

sorting is done by skilled women laborers. As the harvest alone demands about

60% of the labor force, there is an urgent need to fabricate mechanical sorting

machines in order to obtain the produce of diVerent sizes, with provision to

separate out capsules infested with insects and the ‘‘splits.’’

Cardamom needs to be stored for a specified period of time after grading.

The graded produce is normally stored in double‐lined polyethylene bags.

The quality of the stored material could be impaired by storage pests. Hence,

there is also an urgent need to devise storage systems to minimize storage

pest infestation.



348



K. P. PRABHAKARAN NAIR



Equilibrium relative humidity studies have shown that cardamom dried and

maintained at or below 10% moisture retains the original color and precludes

infestation by moulds (Govidarajan, 1982). If black polyethylene is used to store

the produce, the adverse eVect of light is further minimized and safe storage is

possible for 4 months, required for port storage and transshipment. It is advisable

to make use of the dried cardamom capsules preferably within 12–15 months of

harvest, failing which the pleasant flavor and aroma are likely to be adversely

aVected. The stored samples must be frequently tested for storage pests.



H. CONCLUSIONS

Close monitoring of the various operations, right from harvesting to drying

and final grading is required to obtain quality end produce. Initial moisture that

the capsules release while drying should be removed immediately by providing

cross ventilation and exhaust fans. Any breakdown in the heat energy supply aVects the appearance and quality of the produce. Excessive heat adversely

aVects the quality of the cardamom capsules. Even in the pipe dryers, where

heat is generated by firewood, a mechanism should be developed to regulate

temperature suitably. The small and marginal farmers, who constitute nearly

70% of the cardamom growers, face diYculties in processing their own drying

kilns due to economic constraints. Since cardamom estates are located in deep

interior forests, transport of wet capsules to distant places causes much practical diYculties. Hence, there is an urgent need to design and fabricate an eYcient

cardamom dryer involving comparatively lesser cost and which can provide

eYcient drying facility.

Cardamom capsules need to be dried within 24 h of harvest, and any delay

would result in deterioration of the green color and appearance. It is uneconomical to operate cardamom dryers with smaller quantities of the harvested

produce. Hence, research eVorts need to be made to store wet capsules for 2–3

days without impairment of quality. Use of nonconventional energy sources for

drying cardamom merits consideration in the fast changing agroecological conditions of cardamom tracts of India. Exploration of locally available farm wastes

and their biorecycling to generate heat energy merits immediate attention.



IX. INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING OF CARDAMOM AND

CARDAMOM PRODUCTS

Cardamom, which is traded, is the dried fruit (capsule) of the cardamom plant. It is processed into various products such as cardamom seeds,

cardamom powder, cardamom oil, cardamom oleoresin, encapsulated cardamom flavor, and so on. Proper maturity with good characteristic aroma



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