India — the home of spices — has the largest market for spices in the world. It produces ~75 out of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) and accounts for ~50% of the global trading in spices.
Turmeric, also called the Golden Spice of India, has a huge market value. The country is by far the largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric globally. Nearly 80% of the world produce comes from India 90% of which is consumed domestically. There are ~30 varieties of turmeric grown in India and are named after the region they are grown in. Alleppey and Madras are the two grades most prevalent in the global market. It is one of those few products that is perceived to have both commercial as well as high mythological value.
What defines the quality of your Turmeric?
Curcumin, the major component of turmeric, defines the quality of the product and is subject to the yellow color that accounts for the appearance of the product. Higher the curcumin content better the quality of turmeric. Generally, Indian grades contain curcumin ranging from 2–6%. Curcumin content >3% is considered good however, this is practically difficult to find due to mixing of additives like rice flour, chalk powder or starch which do not provide any nutritional value. Off lately, many adulteration cases have been registered for turmeric, majorly with Metanil Yellow (to enhance appearance) and Lead Chromate which makes it toxic for consumption.
Turmeric is widely used as an additive in food as it gives a unique flavor and color to the dishes. Also, the curcumin that it contains has many therapeutic values some of which include — used as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, lowers risk of brain and heart diseases, helps prevent cancer, helps in prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, delays aging and fights depression. This in turn justifies the title given to it “The Golden Spice of India”.
Market Research Associate at AgNext
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