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CONDIMENTS AND SEASONING (Foods Additives)

    HERBS/ AND SPICES, FOOD FLAVOURING AND COLOURING

    Herbs and spices belong to a group of substances known as “Food Additives”. Food additives are substances deliberately added to food to improve the appearance, colour, texture, flavour, nutritive values, aroma and taste and also to preserve the food. By improving the flavour and texture of foods, herbs and spices excite the appetite and increase the flow of the digestive juices thereby making the food more easily digested. Herbs are usually obtained from the leaves of plant while spices are derived from the roots, seeds buds or the bark of plants. Herbs and spices should be purchased in small amounts so that they may be used before they become stale. Because they contain volatile materials known as essentials oils which give them their characteristics flavour and aroma.

    Classification of Herbs and spices

    Herbs can be classified into two main groups. Viz: Natural and Artificial.

    Natural herbs and spices are those used directly as derived from the plants without subjecting them to any industrial processing.

    Artificial herbs and spices are herbs and spices that are produced industrially after some processing.

    NATURAL HERBS & SPICES                              ARTIFICAL HERBS & SPICES

    African lemon grass                                                                            Curry

    Bitter leaf (ewuro, shawaka onugbu)                                                  Thyme, Mustard

    Tea bush (efirin, nchanwa, infang, amana)                                         Sesame

    African nutmeg                                                                                   Nutmeg

    African black pepper (Ijere, Uziza, ada)                                            Cinnamom

    Ginger, garlic, onion

    Red, pepper, mustard seed

    Ogiri (fermented melon) iru

    FOOD FLAVOURING AND COLOURING

    Flavourings are substances added to food to improve the flavour, aroma, texture and in some cases taste. Colourings on the other hand are substances added to food to improve its colour and hence make it more aesthetically appealing and attractive. Both flavouring and colouring can be classified into two major groups, viz: natural and artificial. The natural ones are those present in plants. In this case, the actual plants are added to food and they exude their flavour, aroma or colour during cooking. The artificial ones are the extracts from the plants and are chemically modified to suit specific objectives. They are produced industrially. Certain chemicals are also added to food to assist in establishing the colour and flavour of the food. These types of chemicals are called flavour enhancer.

     Examples of flavouring

    NATURAL                                                                                        ARTIFICIAL

    Ginger                                                                                                 Curry powder

    Cinnamon                                                                                            Vinegar

    Nutmeg                                                                                               Thyme

    Pepper

    Sesame

    Onion

    Dry crayfish

    Orange peel

    Rosemary

    Sesame

    Ogiri, iru

    Examples of colouring

    NATURAL                                                                ARTIFICIAL

    Carotene                                              coal tar dyes of different colours e.g. those used in the manufacture of ice cream, jellies e.t.c.

    Chlorophyll                                         vanilla caraynel (from burnt sugar)

    Turmeric

    Anthocyanins

    Carotenoids

    Saffror

    Cochineal (from crushed insects)

    USES OF FOOD ADDITIVES

    1. To improve the flavour of the food
    2. To improve the appearance and colour of the food
    3. To improve the taste of the food
    4. To excite appetite
    5. For garnishing and preservatives.

    EVALUATION

    Differentiate between herbs and spices.

    ASSIGNMENT

    Make a list of ten local spices used in your locality

    See also

    SEA FOOD COOKERY – FULL EXPLANATION

    MILK COOKERY

    EGG COOKERY: STRUCTURE, NUTRITIVE VALUE, FACTORS & USES

    POULTRY COOKERY: FOOD VALUES, FACTORS, PREPARATION & METHODS

    MEAT COOKERY: NUTRITIVE VALUE OF MEAT, TYPES, METHODS,

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