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Spices are a global product, widely used in food preparation and pharmacology. Their most familiar function is to provide food with flavour, aroma and colour but they are also valued as antioxidants, bioenhancers, antimicrobials, insecticides and anticarcinogenics. Interest is growing in the theoretical and practical aspects of the biosynthetic mechanisms of active components in spices as well as the relationship between the biological activity and chemical structure of these secondary metabolites.
Representing the first discussion of the chemical properties of a wide cross section of important spices, this book covers extensively the three broad categories of plant-derived natural products: the terpenoids, the alkaloids and the phenyl propanoids and allied phenolic compounds. Spice crops such as black pepper, ginger, turmeric and coriander are covered with examinations of botany, composition, uses, chemistry, international specifications and the properties of a broad range of common and uncommon spices. Researchers, industrialists and students of phytochemistry and food science will find this an invaluable resource.