HOW TO START SPICE BUSINESS
India is known as land of spices in the world. As the spice
is a mass consumption item mostly used in culinary
preparation or seasoning of food products, its internal
demand is increasing quite steadily. With changing of
lifestyle and especially with changes in food habits and the
increase of income level, the use of powdered spices has
increased. Of late, the market for ready-to-mix of spices has
grown significantly. Spices are fast moving consumable
items and have large potential. There has to be a widespread
network of dealers or retailers backed up by
advertisements in local media. The export market for Indian
spices is also growing. There is plenty of opportunity in the
spice industry and spice board of India has various schemes
to promote Indian spices.
Spices come in three forms:
• Ground (powdered or fragmented form of the whole spice)
• Derivative, including essential oils, oleoresins, isolates,
Things which are important to start spice business are
Licenses and Marketing Strategies
• First and foremost step is to check with the applicant’s
local, state, county and zoning laws about the appropriate
licenses necessary when starting a spice business.
• Applicant need to have a specific place where they will
assemble and stock the spices they will sell for sanitary
inspection and health clearances.
Wholesale Resources and Pricing
The next step is to find wholesale spices market where
applicant can find cheaper spices and as well as the package
materials also be needed. They can look in the local telephone
directory or look online for the companies offering wholesale
of spices. As for the packaging materials, these things should
be of food-grade quality and must be designated carefully
when they purchase them. The prices of their packages must
be competitive with the gourmet products.
Places to Sell and Business Account
The grocery stores are usually not an option for this
business because most of them will require terms that many
small businesses can’t afford to accommodate. The boutique
gourmet stores can be a possible place for selling spices. We
can also choose to sell on food shows, crafty shows, and
farmers’ market or just sell exclusively online. As for the
business account, this is where applicant will deposit their
business sales money so it is important to track and also keep
any receipts so that it will be easy for them to complete tax
Basic Business Requirements
The documents required for obtaining the Certificate of
Registration as Exporter of Spices.
• Application in the prescribed Form [Form-1].
• Self attested copy of IE code certificate.
• Registration fee of Rs. 5000/- (Rupees five thousand only)
in the form of crossed Demand Draft favouring “Spices
• Confidential Bank certificate in prescribed format in
sealed cover from your banker in support of your
• Self certified/attested copy of partnership Deed/
Memorandum & Articles of Association as the case may
be [not applicable to Proprietorship firm].
• Self certified/attested copies of Sales Tax Registration
• Self attested copy of SSI certificate or the certificate issued
by the Directorate of Industries in case of Manufacturerexporter
• Self certificate copy of PAN card.
• Passport size photo preferably with white background of
the CEO or the designated officer of your firm duly
mentioning the name of the person and the company
represented for issue of ID card.
How to Increase Revenue as a Spice Entrepreneur
Higher revenues won’t necessarily solve all of spice
entrepreneur business’s problems. But it never hurts to find
cost-effective ways to bring more cash into the company. Here
are a few tips to help maximize revenue in a fledgling spice
(i) Expand Product Line
The easiest way to expand a spice business is to expand
their product line. A lot of spice businesses carrybasics like
peppers, cloves, cumin, etc. But by increasing their line to
include hard-to-find spices like ground galangal, nigella
seeds, green cardamom and other items, you can attract a
different layer of customers to thier business and generate
additional revenue from thier existing customer base.
(ii) Internet Marketing
Since spices are easy to ship to remote locations, they
can potentially increase revenues with an aggressive online
marketing campaign. If they lack direct experience in Internet
marketing, consider hiring a professional marketing firm with
a track record of successful online marketing projects in their
(iii) PR & Thought Leadership
Public relations can be a low-cost way to stir up new
business for a spice company. In case they haven’t noticed,
everyone seems to be a foodie these days. Take advantage of
the food trend by using PR strategies to position themself as
the authority on spices in the regional market place.
SPICE QUALITIES AND SPECIFICATIONS
Spices are used for flavour, colour, aroma and preservation
of food or beverages. Spices may be derived from many
parts of the plant: bark, buds, flowers, fruits, leaves,
rhizomes, roots, seeds, stigmas and styles or the entire plant
tops. Spices are often dried and used in a processed but
complete state. Another option is to prepare extracts such
as essential oils by distilling the raw spice material (wet or
dry), or to use solvents to extract oleoresins and other
A spice can be defined as the dried aromatic parts of
natural plants, whose characteristics such as color and
constitution may vary depending on year of harvest and place
of harvest, among other factors. The quality of processed
spices can also vary due to differences in separation and
milling processes used. For these reasons it has been deemed
necessary to establish quality standards or specifications for
spices. Although there are no unified standards or
specifications worldwide, nations that export spices often
have their own quality standards to maintain their own
reputations, while nations importing and consuming spices
establish specifications for the purpose of consumer safety.
Specification of Spice-Exporting Nations
Most spice-exporting nations such as India have their own
exporting specifications, which also regulate the related
(i) The Indian Standards Institution
The Indian Standards Institution states quality standards
for 36 kinds of both unprocessed and processed spices,
ranging from major exported items such as celery, coriander,
cumin, fennel, fenugreek and turmeric to particularly Indian
such as Ajowan seed and Kokun. These specifications mainly
regulate the maximum moisture content. They include
sampling methods and testing methods.
(ii) Directorate of Marketing and Inspection,
Administering Quality Control and Preshipment
The Government of India has prescribed standards for
almost all exported spice items and graded each item using
“Agmark” grades. The kinds of spices include unprocessed
spices such as cardamom, celery, coriander, cumin, fennel,
fenugreek, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric as well as
ground spices such as coriander, cumin, curry powder,
fennel, fenugreek, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric. Grade
specifications are established for age-old, familiar trade
names. For example, Alleppey Finger turmeric, Cochin ginger,
Malabar pepper and Sannam chilies have individual
specifications differentiating them from other turmeric,
ginger, pepper and chilies respectively. Each specification
states limits for moisture, volatile oil, total ash, acid-insoluble
ash and starch in addition to the standards for extraneous
matter necessitating inspection of spices for each chemical/
physical quality before export. For example, black pepper, one
of the most important import items, is classified into more
than 10 grades, depending upon the proportion of light
berries, harvest place (Malabar or others), moisture content,
and so on. Tellicherry black pepper in particular is classified
by size. Curry powder, a mixture of spices, is graded according
to the amount of spice or salt contained. Curry powder
containing 85% or more and less than 5% salt is graded as
“standard,” and one with 70% or more and 10% or less salt
is graded as “general.”
(iii) Grade Specifications for Sarawak Pepper in Malaysia
These specifications, introduced by the Pepper Marketing
Board, is designated for Sarawak pepper, which accounts for
more than 90% of the total pepper production of Malaysia.
The grade of black pepper is determined according to the
amount of light berries present, extraneous matter, moisture
and other characteristics. Standard Malaysian Black Pepper
No. 1 (brown label) has the highest grade, followed by Sarawak
Special Black (yellow label), Sarawak FAQ Black (black label),
Sarawak Field Black (purple label), and Sarawak Coarse Field
(gray label) with the lowest grade. There are also standards
for white pepper, in which the amount of light berries,
moisture, extraneous matter and black pepper present are
limited. White pepper is graded as follows: Standard
Malaysian White Pepper No. 1 is highest (cream label),
followed by Sarawak Special White (green label), Sarawak
White (blue label), Sarawak Field White (orange label), and
Sarawak Coarse White (gray label). In general, higher grade
black/white pepper contains less moisture and fewer light
berries as well as less extraneous matter.
(iv) Grading of Nutmeg in Grenada and Indonesia
These specifications set limits not for export purposes but
for grading nutmeg of two major origins: Indonesia and
Grenada. Nutmeg can be classified largely into “sound
Nutmeg,” which has sustained no injuries, and “substandard
Nutmeg.” Sound Nutmeg is also graded as “80s” and “110s”
according to the number of nutmeg per pound, for example,
“80s” means there are 80 pieces contained in one pound.
Substandard Nutmeg, which is exported from Indonesia, can
be shriveled and “BWP” (broken, wormy, punky).
(v) Specification of Paprika in Hungary and Spain
Spain and Hungary are among the major nations
exporting paprika since the early 20th century. Specifications
for paprika in Spain define paprika as the product obtained
by dehydrating and then grinding clean, fully ripe berries of
Capsicum annum and Capsicum longum and prohibit both
the sale and the use of biologically altered paprika. In Spain,
paprika is classified into three grades according to moisture
content, total ash, ether-soluble extract, acid-insoluble ash,
and total fiber. Extra grade paprika is produced only from
the peel (all seeds and placenta removed), Select grade allows
10% seed content, and Ordinary grade allows a 30% seed
content. In Hungary, grade and quality standards are
specified by The Hungarian Office of Standard. Paprika is
classified according to three qualities and eight grades
according to appearance, pungency and other characteristics
such as total ash and amount of ether extract. First-quality
grades are Special Paprika, Table Quality Mild Paprika
(nonpungent), Table Quality (mildly pungent) and “Hot” Table
Paprika. Second quality grades include Semi-sweet Paprika
and third quality grades include Pink (rose) Paprika and
A. Insect Infestation
(i) Harmful Insects
Insects harmful to farm products, including spices are
usually controlled by agricultural chemicals during
cultivation. But spices can also be damaged by insects,
including mites during storage. Such pests are called “stored
Of the many harmful insects, moths and beetles are most
damaging to spices. How fast the insects develop and breed
depends on the atmospheric temperature, the kind of spice
as well as the kind of insect. Red pepper and basil are among
the spices that often suffer from harmful insects during
storage; parsley, garlic and oregano do not. The cigarette
beetle and Indian meal moth are typical problem insects
found on spices. The cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne
Fabricius) is found in many areas from tropical to temperate
zones. Besides these insects, the coffee bean weevil is known
to breed on nutmeg.
(ii) Fumigation for Insects
Insects found on spices breed and multiply very quickly,
resulting in big problems unless appropriate measures are
taken in the early stages. The most common means used to
control insects in the warehouse is fumigation. The advantage
of using fumigation is that it can reach every part of the
storage warehouse and act uniformly. The chemicals most
widely used on spices for insect disinfection purposes are
methyl bromide and phosphine.
Methyl Bromide: The boiling point of methyl bromide is
3.6°C; it can be used even in winter as a fumigant. The
efficacy of this fumigant can be generally described by the
K is the fumigation efficacy
C the gas concentration, and
T the fumigation time.
The efficacy of the fumigant is enhanced by a longer
fumigation time or higher gas concentration. As for
fumigation temperature, efficacy tends to increase as the
temperature increases. The disadvantage of this fumigant is
that it is not always as effective as phosphine, especially for
pupae and eggs of some insects, in spite of its strong efficacy
against adult insects. However, it has been used in warehouse
for spices and other agricultural products for almost 50 years,
so that relatively predictable fumigation effects can be
expected. There are also some advantages to using methyl
bromide: its fumigation time is relatively short (several hours
to a couple of days) and it is relatively harmless to humans.
For these reasons it is used as fumigant for many farm
products, including spices.
FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY
Food safety is everybody’s concern and it is difficult to find
anyone who has not encountered an unpleasant moment
of foodborne illness at least once in the past year. Foodborne
illnesses may result from the consumption of food
contaminated by microbial pathogens, toxic chemicals or
radioactive materials. Employers have a responsibility to
provide a well-designed, informational training program for
employees to follow while on the job. It is important that this
training be communicated in language that all employees
understand. Practices and procedures must be translated for
all employees, no matter what language they speak. Proper
hygiene practices should be communicated prior to
employment and reaffirmed with periodic training programs.
Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling,
preparation and storage of food in ways that prevent
foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that
should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards.
In this way food safety often overlaps with food defense to
prevent harm to consumers. The tracks within this line of
thought are safety between industry and the market and then
between the market and the consumer.
ISO 22000 is a standard developed by the International
Organization for Standardization dealing with food safety.
This is a general derivative of ISO 9000. ISO 22000 standard:
The ISO 22000 international standard specifies the
requirements for a food safety management system that
involves interactive communication, system management,
prerequisite programs, HACCP principles.
General Principles of Food Safety
(i) General Principles to be Followed in Administration of
The Central Government, the State Governments, the
Food Authority and other agencies, as the case may be while
implementing the provisions of this Act shall be guided by
the following principles namely:-
(1) (a) endeavour to achieve an appropriate level of protection
of human life and health and the protection of
consumer’s interests including fair practices in all
kinds of food trade with reference to food safety
standards and practices.
(b) carry out risk management which shall include taking
into account the results of risk assessment and other
factors which in the opinion of the Food Authority are
relevant to the matter under consideration and where
the conditions are relevant in order to achieve the
general objectives of regulations.
(c) where in any specific circumstances, on the basis of
assessment of available information the possibility of
harmful effects on health is identified but scientific
uncertainty persists, provisional risk management
measures necessary to ensure appropriate level of
health protection may be adopted, pending further
scientific information for a more comprehensive risk
(d) the measures adopted on the basis of clause.
(e) shall be proportionate and no more restrictive of trade
than is required to achieve appropriate level of health
protection, regard being had to technical and economic
feasibility and other factors regarded as reasonable
and proper in the matter under consideration;
(f) The measures adopted shall be reviewed within a
reasonable period of time, depending on the nature of
the risk to life or health being identified and the type
of scientific information needed to clarify the scientific
uncertainty and to conduct a more comprehensive risk
(g) in cases where there are reasonable grounds to
suspect that a food may present a risk for human
health, then depending on the nature, seriousness and
extent of that risk, the Food Authority and the
Commissioner of Food Safety shall take appropriate
steps to inform the general public of the nature of the
risk to health, identifying to the fullest extent possible
the food or type of food, the risk that it may present,
and the measures which are taken or about to be taken
to prevent, reduce or eliminate that risk.
(h) where any food which fails to comply with food safety
requirements is part of a batch, lot or consignment of
food of the same class or description, it shall be
presumed until the contrary is proved, that all of the
food in that batch, lot or consignment fails to comply
with those requirements.
(2) The Food Authority shall, while framing regulations or
specifying standards under this Act–
(a) take into account –
(i) prevalent practices and conditions in the country
including agricultural practices and handling,
storage and transport conditions.
(ii) international standards and practices, where
international standards or practices exist or are
in the process of being formulated, unless it is of
opinion that taking into account of such prevalent
practices and conditions or international
standards or practices or any particular part
thereof would not be an effective or appropriate
means for securing the objectives of such
regulations or where there is a scientific
justification or where they would result in a
different level of protection from the one
determined as appropriate in the country.
(b) determine food standards on the basis of risk analysis
except where it is of opinion that such analysis is not
appropriate to the circumstances or the nature of the
(c) undertake risk assessment based on the available
scientific evidence and in an independent, objective
and transparent manner.
(d) ensure that there is open and transparent public
consultation directly or through representative bodies
including all levels of panchayats during the
preparation, evaluation and revision of regulations,
except where it is of opinion that there is an urgency
concerning food safety or public health to make or
amend the regulations in which case such
consultation may be dispensed with : Provided that
such regulations shall be in force for not more than
(e) ensure protection of the interests of consumers and
shall provide a basis for consumers to make informed
choices in relation to the foods they consume.
(f) ensure prevention of
(i) fraudulent, deceptive or unfair trade practices
which may mislead or harm the consumer
(ii) unsafe or contaminated or sub-standard food.
PACKAGING AND LABELLING OF SPICES
Spices constitute an important group of agricultural
commodities which are considered indispensable for
culinary purposes and for flavouring food. India is known as
the “Home of Spices” and produces a large variety and
quantity of spices. As most spices grow under specific climatic
conditions, annual production level and India’s share of
spices in the world market has varied considerably in the
recent years. Although India exports spices to so many
countries in the world, of the total spices produced in the
country, only a small quantity of about 6-7% is exported. The
rest is consumed in the Indian market, as there is an
immense domestic demand. A steady increase is observed in
the export of value added spices. There is also a good scope
to increase export earnings from spice oils and oleoresins as
the global industry is increasingly leaning towards natural
Spices are aromatic substances of vegetable origin and
are derived from various parts of plants like leaves, bark, fruit,
flower buds, stems, roots, seeds etc. Spices are used as
condiments and seasonings and form an essential part of food
preparations as they add flavour, taste and colour. Spices
have good anti-oxidant and preservative properties as well
as good anti-microbial and antibiotic properties and therefore,
are also used for medicinal purposes. So to preserve their
original aroma and property we need to pack them properly,
as they are easily affected by factors like high temperature,
humidity, heating, insects, pest, rodents and birds.
In order to select a suitable packaging material/type of
package for spices, it is essential to know the factors which
affect the quality of spices.
(i) Moisture Content
Spices, specifically spices in powder form, are hygroscopic
in nature and pick-up moisture from the atmosphere
resulting in sogginess and caking/lumping of the powder.
Pick-up of moisture also results in loss of free-flowing nature
of the spice powder.
(ii) Loss of Aroma/Flavour
Spices contain volatile oils, which impart the
characteristic aroma/flavour to the product. Loss in the
volatile oil content or oxidation of some aromatic compounds
result in aroma and flavor loss.
Some of the spices like green cardamom, red chillies,
turmeric, saffron contain natural pigments. Light can affect
the pigments resulting in loss or fading of color deterioration.
(i) Insect Infestation
Spices are prone to spoilage due to insect infestation,
which can be further accelerated due to high humidity, heat
(ii) Microbial Contamination
In high humidity condition of 65% and above, moisture
absorption occurs. Beyond a certain level of moisture content,
spoilage due to microbial growth sets in.
(iii) Spices Packaging Requirement
In order to maintain the quality of the spices during
handling, transportation, storage and distribution, the
packaging material to be used is to be selected with care,
keeping in mind the functional as well as the marketing
requirements. The packaging requirements for spices, in
general, are listed below:
• To protect the product from spillage and spoilage.
• To provide protection against atmospheric factors such
as light, heat, humidity and oxygen. The selected
packaging materials should have high water vapour and
• The packaging material should have a high barrier
property to prevent aroma/flavour losses and ingress of
• The volatile oil present in the spice product has a
tendency to react with the inner/contact layer of the
packaging material, at times leading to a greasy and
messy package with smudging of the printed matter. The
packaging material should therefore begrease and oil
resistant and compatible with the product.
• Besides the above functional requirements, the packaging
material should have good machinability, printability and
it should be easily available and disposable.
Packaging Material Requirement
To prevent or slow down the deteriorative changes during
storage, for easy handling, transportation and to have export
potential for spices, the package:
1. Should have the ability to protect the content from
spoilage and spillage.
Should offer protection against physicochemical and
microbiological spoilage due to environmental conditions
like humidity, temperature, light and oxygen
transmission rates and light transmissivity.
2. Should be a good aroma barrier to prevent loss of flavour
substance from the product and pick up of foreign odours.
3. Should have good oil and fat resistance characteristics.
4. Should have good machinability characteristics and
possess the required mechanical strength properties.
5. Should have good resistance to insects and mites.
6. Should be compatible with the product packed as regards
tainting and migration and conform to the food laws of
importing and exporting countries.
7. Should have good appearance and printability to assist
in selling suitable attractive graphics.
In addition, it should be economical, easily available and
Packaging Method and Materials for Spices
Most intact spices will store adequately in sacks/boxes
if the humidity of the air is not too high. Ground spices can
also be stored without special packaging if humidity is low
but over long periods there is a loss of flavour and risk of
contamination and spillage.
It is therefore better to store spices in a barrier film such
as polypropylene (essential in areas of high humidity) to
provide an attractive package, retain spice quality and prevent
contamination and losses. If polypropylene is not available,
cellulose film is adequate if it is heat sealable. Polythene is a
poor substitute and should only be used for short term
storage as it allows the flavour/aroma of the spices to escape.
The containers shall be free from insect infestation fungus
contamination, deleterious substances and any undesirable
or obnoxious smell. Each package shall be securely closed
and suitably sealed.
Suitable number of consumer packs containing graded
material of the same grade designation and from the same
lot/ batch may be packed in master containers such as
wooden/ cardboard cases.
The mixed Masala Powders shall be packed in new clean
and sound containers made of jute or cloth or tinplate with
inner lining of 200 gauge high density polyethylene or in
sound and clean glass bottles or in new sound and clean
pouches of 200 gauge polypropylene or high density
polyethylene or containers in the form of bottles, jars or
pouches made of laminated/extrusioned/metalled/
multilayer plastic materials or any other packing material as
may be approved by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser as
per rule 11 of the General Grading and Marking Rules, 1988.
Provided that the Packing Material shall be manufactured
out of food grade materials as permitted under prevention of
Food Adulteration Rules, 1955. The product may also be
packed under vacuum.
The packaging requirements depend on:
(1) The type of spice
(2) Whether it is ground or intact
(3) The humidity of storage
Types of Packing
(i) Bulk Packaging
The traditional method is to use gunny/jute bags for
packaging of whole spices with capacities ranging from 10kg
to 70kg. The jute bags may be provided with a loose liner bag
of polyethylene or may be without a liner. At times double
gunny bags are also used especially for whole black pepper.
The quality of the jute fabric used with respect to the
grammage and the weave (ends/picks) varies from one trader
to the other. There is no standardization on the type and
quality of the fabric used. Recently, some of the spice traders/
packers use alternate bulk packaging media such as woven
plastic bags which may be laminated or provided with a loose
liner bag and multiwall paper sacks with a plastic liner bag.
The plastic based alternate packaging materials are used to
overcome the contamination problems associated with jute.
Moreover, the plastic bags / liners also help in retaining the
quality of the spices packed inside for a longer time.
The latest trend is to use Jumbo bags (Flexible
Intermediate Bulk Containers) (FIBCs) for export of spices.
These bags have a capacity of up to 1 tonne and offer various
advantages such as:
• Bags are flexible, collapsible and durable.
• Can be used for packaging of granules, powder, flakes and
any free flowing material.
• Product wastage/spillage and tampering can be avoided.
• Since the handling is mechanized, less labour is required.
• Saving in time for loading and unloading.
• Bags are light in weight and therefore, freight costs are
• Creates eco-friendly, pollution free working atmosphere.
The jumbo bags are sometimes made from cloth but
mainly from plastic fabric, which can be laminated or
provided with an inner plastic liner bag. The bags are provided
with filling and discharge spouts and slings for hanging
during loading/unloading operations.
(ii) Institutional Packages
The spice traders also use institutional packs of capacities
ranging from 2kg to 10kg. The variety of packages used
include laminated flexible pouches and plastic woven sacks
which replace traditional material like tinplate containers and
(iii) Consumer Packages
The options available to the traders/exporters of spices
in the selection of a consumer pack for domestic and export
market are quite wide. However, the selection/choice of the
packaging material/ system depends upon a number of
factors which are broadly listed below:
• Shelf-life period i.e. the degree of protection required by
the product against moisture pick-up, aroma retention,
discoloration etc. (this is more critical in case of powdered
• Climatic conditions during storage, transportation and
• Type/sector of market.
• Consumer preferences.
• Printability and aesthetic appeal.
Unbranded Consumer Packs of Ground Spices
The package types generally used as consumer packs are:
• Glass bottles of various sizes and shapes with labels and
provided with metal or plastic caps. The plastic caps have
added in built features of tamper evidence, dispensing,
• Printed tinplate container with/without dispensing
• Composite containers with dispensers.
• Plastic containers with plugs and caps with dispensing
and tamper evidence features.
• Printed flexible pouches – pillow pouch, gusseted pouch,
• Lined cartons.
The printed flexible pouches have recently become very
popular due to their easy availability, excellent printability,
light weight, machinability and cost-effectiveness. Also,
depending upon the functional and marketing requirements,
the laminate/film can be tailor made to serve a specific need.
MARKET OF SPICES
Spices are the pearls of developing countries. Today, Indian
spices are the most sought-after globally, given their
exquisite aroma, texture, taste and medicinal value. India,
known as the home of spices, boasts a long history of trading
with the ancient civilisations of Rome and China. India has
the largest domestic market for spices in the world.
Traditionally, spices in India have been grown in small land
holdings, with organic farming gaining prominence in recent
times. India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and
exporter of spices; the country produces about 75 of the 109
varieties listed by the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO) and accounts for half of the global
trading in spices.
In middle age Spices were among the most demanded and
expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages,
the most common being pepper, cinnamon , cumin, nutmeg,
ginger and cloves. It has been estimated that around 1,000
tons of pepper and 1,000 tons of the other common spices
were imported into Western Europe each year during the Late
Middle Ages. The value of these goods was the equivalent of
a yearly supply of grain for 1.5 million people. The most
exclusive was saffron, used as much for its vivid yellow-red
color as for its flavor. Spices are most important constituents
of Indian food and cuisines, and are used not only for
household purpose, but also in hotels, restaurants, eateries
and food processing industries.
In the regions where spicy food is consumed, Cumin is
an important part of most recipes. Cumin is used in whole,
grounded form-pure and also forms part of various blended
special purpose spices, which are used to add flavors to
various dishes through out India and Asia. Turmeric is
another important spice largely used in Indian cuisines and
it also has several medicinal uses. Turmeric finds application
in oleoresin production also. Like Cumin, Turmeric is also
used in pure and as a component in blended spices for various
Indian dishes. Chilly is a globally popular spice that finds
usage in variety of cuisines and dishes. Chilly powder,
obtained by the crushing process of dried chillies, finds wider
applications in food processing industries as well as a
medicinal ingredient. Like Cumin and Turmeric, Chilly is also
used in pure or blended form for various dishes in India and
The Indian Spices Industry
Indian spices command a formidable position in world
spice trade. The Indian spices industry exported 8,93,920
tonnes of spices and spice products during last year, valued
at US$2,432.85 million. India’s spice exports comprise whole
spices, organic, spice mixes, spice blends, freeze dried, curry
powders/mixtures, oleoresins, extracts, essential oils, spice
in brine and other value added spices.
Adherence to High Spice Quality Standards
Spice quality has assumed great importance in recent
times. Some of the quality features include:
Stringent quality control measures and quality
certification for spices from internationally recognised
Pre-shipment inspection of all spices and validation of
Mandatory inspection by the Spices Board of India.
Strict checks on physical, chemical and microbial
parameters of all spices, including pesticide residues,
aflatoxin, heavy metals and other contaminants/adulterants.
Samples testing with the American Spice Trade
Association, International Pepper Community and Eurofins
Government Initiatives to Promote Exports of Indian
India’s Spice Parks
The objective of setting up Spice Parks in India was to
provide common infrastructural facilities for both postharvest
and processing of spices and spice products along
with backward integration by providing rural employment.
India’s Spice Parks provide excellent processing facilities
that are at par with international standards in terms of
cleaning, grading, sorting, grinding, packing and
Educative services provided to spice farmers and traders
at the Spice Parks include:
• Spice Training Programmes on Good Agricultural
• Post-harvest Operations of Spices.
• Advanced Spice Processing Practices.
• Global Food Safety and Quality Standards.
Spice Parks help ensure better pricing of spices
by reducing supply chain costs. They provide spice
farmers with the necessary infrastructure and facilities
to improve spice quality and sell spices directly to spice
Spice Parks under the Spices Board are located in several
parts of India, including:
• Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh)
• Puttady (Kerala)
• Jodhpur (Rajasthan)
• Guna (Madhya Pradesh)
• Guntur (Andhra Pradesh)
• Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu)
• Kota (Rajasthan)
• Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh)
Product Range in Indian Market
The products available in the Indian market are classified
into four categories.
1. Basic Spices (In powder form)
• Chilli (Mirch)
• Turmeric (Haldi)
• Coriander (Dhaniya)
• Coriander-Cumin (Dhaniya-Jeera)
2. Whole Spices (In powder form)
• Cumin (Jeera)
• Mustard (Rai)
• Fenugreek (Methi)
• Ajowan (Ajwain)
• Seasame (Til)
3. Compounded Asafoetida & Blended Spices (In powder form)
• Compounded Asafoetida
• Super Garam Masala
• Garam Masala
• Super Tea Masala
• Tea Masala
• Pav Bhaji Masala
• Chole Masala
• Sambhar Masala
• Panipuri Masala
• Chat Masala
• Achar Masala