Turmeric of commerce is the dried rhizome of the plant Curcuma domestica. Turmeric is used in curry powder, chicken bouillon, sauces, gravies, dry seasonings, backing mixes, processed cheese pickles, relishes, breading soups, beverages, and confections in addition to its use in medicine, religious functions and as biopesticide. The antiquity of turmeric dates back to the Assyrians of 600 BC. Ethnobotanical evidence indicates that the use of turmeric has been in India since very ancient days. It is believed that the crop spread out from India to distant Asian countries under the influence of the Hindu religión.
Harvested turmeric is washed well to remove the adhering soil; roots removed, the fingers and mothers are separated. Mother and finger rhizomes are boiled separately for about 40-60 minutes under slightly alkaline condition in copper, galvanized iron earthen vessels and sun dried on bamboo mat clean drying floor for 10-15 days so as to bring down the moisture content to 10%.
After harvest, fresh turmeric is kept in gunny bags or baskets or heaped open in well-ventilated sheds.
Turmeric is available as whole, ground, oleoresin and oil. Turmeric is used mainly as fine ground turmeric in cooking in the West while those in the growing countries buy turmeric mostly in whole or Split form. Importing countries in the West buy ground turmeric, turmeric oleoresin and oil.
Turmeric is valued mainly for its principal colouring pigment, curcumin, which imparts the yellow color to turmeric, besides other nutritive constituents like potassium.

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