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Lecture 17

Biology 2217B Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Cinnamomum Verum, Ginger, Black Pepper

Course Code
BIOL 2217B
Richard Gardiner

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Lecture 17 herbs and spices
Spice Latin for species meaning good or merchandise
- Used for: magical rites, purification and embalming, fragrance, flavouring,
food preservatives, curatives, vermifuge (kills intestinal worms)
Herbs leaves or seeds from temperate origins
Incenses plant substances that releases fragrances
- Valued commodity used as currency sometimes
- Rome held ransom for metals and 3000 lb of pepper
- Early explorers, Columbus, Magellan and Ferdinand risked lives to discover
faster routes to spice producing countries
- Spice influence:
o Hyp: species enhance flavour; Argument: do enhance flavour; why do
we like them? What cultural preferences?
o Hyp: spices cool body by perspiration; Arg; most spices don’t do this
o Hyp: spices used to preserve food; Arg: do have antimicrobial effects
Recipes average meat recipes 3.9 species, 93% of all recipes require spices
- Number of species used in recipes range from 0 to 12
Herbs and spices:
- Scents and flavours due to essential oils
o Secondary compounds, most isoprenoids (terpenes)
- Natural plant function & pollinator disperser attraction
- Plant protection from herbivores and microbes (antimicrobial)
Chemosensory abilities
- Taste on the palate and the pharynx
- Odour volatile chemicals sensations experienced by olfactory
- Flavour composed of taste odour and temperature
- Cool minty (trigeminal nerves)
- Dry astringents (tannins)
o Nerves sense drying of mucous coating of mouth, maybe denaturing
- Temperature greatly effect impression of food
- Any flavours beyond this is listed in olfactory in nasal aromatic compounds
o Aromatic bc they give aroma and are volatile
- terpenes many varieties of isoprene
o Secondary metabolites
o Act as anti herbivory and anti infection, concentrated in leaves
flowers or fruits

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Tastes sweet = sugars; salty = NaCL, Li, K; Sour = acidic H+; Bitter = quinine
- Eastern hemisphere Umani amino acids, MSG; Piquance chilis, capcaisin
History of spice trade
- Greeks/romans traded with arabs for orient spices, romans bypassed by
doing directly fal of rome led to end in spice trade w/ europe and dark age
- Portuguese, Dutch and British monopolized spice trade
- COlombus found NA while looking for spice trade route in india
- Cinnamon has been around the longest, killed most? Dutch and Portuguese
Herbs categorized
Spices have no main families, tropical and rare
Lecture 17 herbs 2
Allium - Alliaceae
cepa onions modified leaves
sativum garlic
porrum leeks
schoenoprasum chives
sulphur compounds, after eating transported to lungs for disposal
onions and garlic cultivated for a long time, sulphur inhibits bacteria and
Liameaceae - MINT FAMILY
- Peppermint most cultivated
- Medicines, toothpaste, mouthwash cooking
- Rosemary rosmarinus officianalis
o Native to mediterranian
o Shrubby plant with needle leaves
o Used in teas
o Extracted oils in perfumes
o Flavouring of foods
- Lavender lavandula
o Flowers pink
o Flavour vinegars and jams, perfumes
o Essential oils linked to abnormal breast development
o Endocrine disrupter
Apaciaeae parsley family
- pertoselinum crispum parsley
- most common in NA
- rich in vit A and D
- Antheum graveolens dill
o Dried and fresh Aerial parts used
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