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                                         Information @ a Glance
General
  • The name cardamom (or cardamon) is used for herbs within two genera of the ginger family Zingiberaceae, namely Elettaria and Amomum.
  • Both varieties take the form of a small seedpod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds.
  • Elettaria pods are light green in color, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.
  • Black cardamom is a plant in the family Zingiberaceae. Its seed pods have a strong, smoky, anise-like flavor.
     

Growth

  • Cardamom grows best in tropical forests at altitudes ranging from 600 to 1,500 metres above sea level, receiving a well-distributed rainfall of over 1500 mm and a temperature of 10-35 C.
  • Cardamom's best growth and development is observed in warm and humid places under the canopy of evergreen forest trees.
  • The ideal site is slightly sloping with good drainage. The crop is raised best on well-drained, rich forest loam, and red, deep, goodtextured lateritic soils having plenty of humus or leaf-mulch.
  • Cardamom does well when it is intercropped with banana, coffee, vanilla, moringa or some other crops.

Application

  • Elettaria cardamomum is used as a spice, a masticatory, and in medicine; it is also sometimes smoked; it is used as a food plant by the larva of the moth Endoclita hosei.
  • Amomum is used as a spice and as an ingredient in traditional systems of medicine in China, India, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
  • In the Middle East and Turkey, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea.
  • It is also used to some extent in some dish recipes. Black cardamom is sometimes used in garam masala for curries.
  • In South Asia green cardamom is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in tea, or chai.

Market

  • India is the largest producer of large cardamom with 54% share in world production, and Sikkim contributes upto 88% of India's production.
  • Cardamom is called Elakka in Malayalam, which is the language of Kerala an Indian province that accounts for 70% of Indian cardamom.
  • An estimated 4000 tonnes of large cardamom valued at about Rs. 1.60 billion are produced annually in Sikkim alone, which constitutes nearly 80% of total Indian production.
  • The fresh seeds with moisture content of about 60% gave oil yield of 1.6% while seeds from dried or market samples (5% moisture) furnished an oil in 2.7% and 2.4% yield, respectively.
     

Report

  • Saudi Arabia ranked highest in importing Cardamom, with 40% followed by Singapore, India, USA and the EU. Most of these major importing countries re-export cardamom to other countries.
  • The packages of large cardamom, as capsules or seeds, should be stored in covered premises, well protected from the sun, rain and excessive heat.
  • The store should be dry, free from objectionable odours and proofed against the entry of insects and vermin.
  • The ventilation should be controlled as so to ensure good ventilation during dry weather and to be fully closed during wet weather. Suitable arrangements should be made to allow fumigation of the store.

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