Cardamom (Elettaria cardmomum)
Cardamom popularly called the “Queen of Spices”, is the dried fruit of Elettaria cardmomum, a perennial herbaceous plant which thick, irregular shaped rhizomes belong to the Zingerberaceae or Ginger family. Cardamom is an expensive spice, second only to saffron
English : Cardamon, Lesser Cardamom ,
French : cardamome,
German : Kardamom ,
Italian : cardamomo, cardamone ,
Spanish : cardamomo,
Chinese : ts’ao-k’ou,
Sinhalese : enasal
Whole Cardamom , Cardamom pods , Cardamom powder
Just ripened are generally harvested. Capsules may be washed in water to remove the adhering soil. In curing, moisture of green cardamom is reduced from 80% to 12% (wet basis) at an optimum temperature (50º) so as to retain its green colour to the maximum extent.
Flue pipe curing is the convenient method of curing from which high-quality green cardamom can be obtained. The heated air current generated in the furnace passes through the pipe and increases the temperature of the room. The fans located either sides of the wall uniformly spread the temperature. Inside the room the cardamom to be dried is kept in wooden/aluminum trays arranged in racks. The fire in the furnace is adjusted to maintain the temperature between 45– 50ºC. Drying takes about 18 to 22 hours.
Uses & Functional properties
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. Both forms of cardamom are used as flavorings in both food and drink, as cooking spice and as a medicine.
Cardamom oil is used in food, perfumery and liquor and pharmaceutical industries as a flavour and a carminative. Its use in the food industry is in flavouring pickles, meat and canned soups..