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Depending upon the variety, the crop becomes ready for harvest in 7-9 months after planting. Usually harvesting extends from January to March-April. Early varieties mature in 7-8 months and medium varieties in 8-9 months. The crop is ready for harvesting when the leaves turn yellow and start drying up. At the time of maturity, leaves are cut close to the ground, the land is ploughed and rhizomes are gathered by hand-picking or the clumps are carefully lifted with a spade. The picked rhizomes are collected and cleaned. The mother and finger rhizomes are separated before curing. The yield per hectare comes to 20,000 to 22,000 kilograms of green turmeric. Some of the high-yielding selections developed have recorded a yield of 35,000 of green turmeric per hectare.
Quality of cured turmeric is assessed on
• • • • •
The pigment (curcumin) content The organoleptic character The general appearance Size and physical form of rhizome Hence proper care is exercised while taking up processing the material.
The boiling lasts for 45 to 60 minutes when the rhizomes are soft. The fresh turmeric is cured for obtaining dry turmeric before marketing. sodium bicarbonate is added to make it slightly alkaline. the rhizomes would be soft and yield when pressed between fingers. Curing involves boiling of fresh rhizomes in water and drying in the sun. to gelatinize the starch for hardening the rhizomes and give a more uniform coloured product and an even distribution of colour in the rhizome. the cleaned rhizomes are boiled in copper or galvanized iron or earthen vessels. Boiling process should be done over a slow fire until they softened. with water just enough to soak them.Processing It involves three-steps • • • Curing Curing Polishing Colouring. Over cooking spoils the colour of final product while under cooking renders the dried product brittle. The objective of boiling is to destroy the viability of the fresh rhizomes and to obviate the raw odour. Boiling is stopped when froth comes out and white fumes appear giving out a typical odour when properly cooked. If water is acidic. In the traditional methods. cowdung slurry is used as boiling medium. to reduce the drying time. In regions of sugarcane where turmeric is cultivated the shallow pans used for gur boiling can be used for turmeric boiling also. In certain places. • • • • • • • • • • Fingers are separated from mother rhizomes and are usually kept as seed material. . such rhizomes fetch poor market value. From hygienic point of view.
A thinner layer is not desirable. It may take 10 to 15 days for the rhizomes to become completely dry.9x0. made of GI or MS sheet with extended parallel handle. • Polishing • Dried turmeric has poor appearance and a rough dull outer surface with scales and root lets.• In the improved scientific methods of curing the cleaned fingers (approximately 50 kg) are taken in a perforated trough of size 0. The whole mass is boiled till the finger become soft. The yield of the dry product varies from 20 to 30 percent depending upon the variety and the location where the crop is grown. • • • • • • • The perforated trough containing the fingers are then immersed in the pan. The alkaline solution (0. During night time. the materials should be heaped or covered.55x0. as the colour of the dried product may be adversely affected. . The mother rhizomes and the fingers are generally cured separately.1% sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate) is poured into the trough so as to immerse the turmeric fingers. Alkalinity of the boiling water helps in imparting orange yellow tinge to the core of turmeric.4m. The cooked fingers are dried in the sun by spreading 5 to 7 cm thick layers on bamboo mat or drying floor. The cooking of turmeric is to be done within two or three days after harvesting. The appearance is improved by smoothening and polishing outer surface by manual or mechanical rubbing. The drained solution in the pan can also be used for boiling another lot of turmeric along with the fresh solution prepared for the purpose. The cooked fingers are taken out of the pan by lifting the trough and draining the solution into the pan.
dried and half-polished fingers are taken in baskets which are shaken continuously when an emulsion is poured in. hygienic and efficient technique of curing and colouring turmeric. Mechanical rubbing • • • The improved method is by using hand operated barrel or drum mounted on a central axis. the boiled. The yield of polished turmeric from the raw materials varies from 15 to 25 percent. When the drum filled with turmeric is rotated at 30 rpm. Turmeric powder 2 kg Castor seed oil 0. The composition of the emulsion required for coating 100 kg of half boiled turmeric is Alum 0.Manual polishing • Consists of rubbing the dried turmeric fingers on a hard surface or trampling them under feet. Turmeric powder is suspends in water and mixed by sprinkling inside the polishing basket. the sides of which are made of expanded metal mesh.14 kg Sodium bisulfate 30 g Concentrated hydrochloric acid 30ml. has developed a simpler. In this rhizomes are boiled in lime-water or sodium carbonate. Improved Methods of Curing • The Central Food Technological Research Institute. When the fingers are uniformly coated with the emulsion they may be dried in the sun. wrapped in gunny bags. In wet process. polishing is effected by abrasion of the surface against the mesh as well as by mutual rubbing against each other as they roll inside the drum. The turmeric is also polished in power-operated drums.04 kg. Colouring • • • • • • • • • • • It is done to give a good appearance and better finish to the product. This is done to half polished rhizomes in two ways. A water solution containing 20 g sodium bisulphite and 20 g of • . Mysore. For giving a brighter colour. Turmeric powder is added to the polishing drum in the last 10 minutes in dry process. known as dry and wet colouring.
Double pouch of 300 MSAT cellophane glassine inside and 250 gauge low-density polyethylene outside offers adequate protection to the product over 135 days in different conditions of storage when initial moisture content of the product is about 9% (DWB).1% (dryweight basis. Printing on the polyethylene pouches gets disfigured and smudged and pouches become sticky in bulk. Detail packaging studies have revealed that aluminium-foil laminate offers maximum protection against loss of volatile oil and ingress of moisture. turmeric powder is packed in fibre-board drums. Packaging Whole Turmeric • Well-cured and dried turmeric is generally packed in double burlap new gunny bags which are properly fumigated prior to packaging. Turmeric Powder • • • • Humidity moisture relationship studies on ground turmeric have revealed that a moisture level of above 12. DWB) is critical with respect to free-flow characteristics of the product. • Storage Storage at Producers Level . multiwall bags and tin containers.3 kg of tubers is recommended to given them the desired yellow tint. Polyethylene pouches alone are inadequate to give desired protection against loss of volatile oil as nearly 60% of it is lost within 135 days.hydrochloric acid per 45.
Infrared treatment of spice passing through a rotating inclined metal tube has been suggested. After bags of turmeric are kept in the pit. Control of Insect Infestation • • • • • • • • • Disinfestation of spices and spice powders may be achieved by heat. Over the layer a date-mat is spread. the exposure time and temperature required for effective killing of embedded insects leads to loss of quality. interaction products. It is then covered with soil. The pits should be allowed to dry for a couple of days and sides and bottom should be padded with a thick layer of paddy straw or any such material. For achieving 100% Disinfestation. effective and economic disinfestation procedure. due to insulating effect of solid spice and also of powder.• • • Farmers can store cured turmeric for long if Turmeric bags are stored in a pit. Steam at 50 to 75 psi may be used to use temperature of vaults quickly to 85 to 95° C. and their effect on flavour quality of spice. For this purpose. Warehousing • Better and scientific storage in Central and State warehouses is recommended where prophylactic treatment and fumigation facilities too do exist for hygienic storage in a modern store at a nominal cost. However. and allowing for sorption of gases by commodities and loss by leakage. are more effective and have minimum effect on the quality of spices. the maintenance of an effective concentration and exposure period is necessary. Vital considerations other than achieving sterility are permissible levels of fumigant residues. they should be covered with a layer of straw or grass. and these treatments disinfect 45. but specific studies on the feasibility of the treatment for turmeric are not available. . but has been almost given up in favour of other gaseous fumigants which are easier to use. as insects in all stages succumb to exposure at 60° C for 5 to 10 min. Sulphurdioxide from burning sulphur in sealed warehouses has traditionally been used in developing countries. The lethal doses of a number of fumigants for adult insects have been determined.3 kg bags of powdered spice in 24 hr. pits of 450cm deep with 300cm and 200cm sides should be dug on raised ground. Fumigation with suitable chemicals has been developed into quick. Cost of treatment and loss of quality limit use of this method. a working dosage of 4 to 5 times the lethal dosage is recommended.
Recommended maximum levels of methyl bromide vary from 20 to 100ppm for different foods at the point of retail distribution. • . well within the conservative limits fixed even for cereals. Residues of inorganic bromide from fumigation of turmeric.• • • • • • Phosphine and hydrogen cyanide are highly effective at low doses of a few milligrams per line. less than a few ppm at this concentration. a tolerance of 50 ppm of bromide ion has been recommended for cereals and flours. Normal airing at the end of fumigation. To prevent excessive use of brominated hydrocarbon fumigants. were of the order of only 26 ppm. With these organic bromide fumigants. a level of 400 ppm is recommended by the FDA in the USA while a tolerance level of 100 ppm is specified by the PFA in India. but handling problems and residue tolerance levels limit their use in spice-growing developing countries. the risk is insignificant. using 64 mg of ethylene dibromide for 96 hr or methyl bromide for 48 hr. Regarding spices whose daily intake is small. processing and cooking releases unreacted fumigant to. water soluble inorganic bromides are formed as residues in the treated food. Their level is indicative of the level of bromine-containing fumigants originally used.
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