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m, 4, Clove

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus)

In Sri Lanka, clove is cultivated mostly in the mid-country. The tree is of medium size, fine, evergreen, reaching up to 20m in height and varies in its canopy shape from cylindrical to pyramidal. Clove of commerce is the dried, fully grown but still unopened flower buds of the evergreen tree. The flower buds are at first of a pale color and gradually become green, after which they develop into a bright red, when they are ready for collecting. Whole or ground clove contains 15 to 20% by weight of volatile oil. The major components of clove bud oil are eugenol 70–95%

Other names:
English : Clove
French : clou de girofle
German : Gewuzenelke
Italian : chiodo di garofano
Spanish : clavo de especial
Chinese : ding heung
Sinhalese : Karambu

Clove buds, ground or Clove powder

Clove Buds
Clove buds are harvested when they have reached their full size and the colour has turned reddish. Cloves are harvested when 1.5–2 cm long. After being harvested, the buds are separated from the stems, by hand. Immediately after separation, the buds are dried under the sun. The colour and oil content of artificially dried cloves are not significantly different from sun dried. Dried whole clove bud is usually packed in bags and should be stored in a clean, dry room with good ventilation

Ground clove is produced by milling and/or grinding of the dried clove buds. The process is usually conducted at low temperature (25º–35ºC) to prevent the loss of valuable volatile constituents during processing

Uses & Functional properties

The use of clove in whole or ground form is mainly for domestic culinary purposes and as a flavouring agent in the food industry. Food products which use clove are mainly curry powder, sauces and baked foods.

Clove has long been used in traditional medicine, particularly to aid digestion, cure stomach disorders and in pain relief. It is believed that clove has antioxidant properties, which can neutralize free radicals associated with cancer. Antioxidant content varies depending on the type of clove product.