Monday, April 23, 2012

Radish Cultivation




Scientific classification
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Kingdom         : Plantae
(unranked)       : Angiosperms
(unranked)       : Eudicots
(unranked)       : Rosids
Order              : Brassicales
Family             : Brassicaceae
Genus              : Raphanus
Species            : R. sativus
Binomial name  : Raphanus sativus L.
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The radish (Raphanus sativus) is an edible root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family that was domesticated in Europe, in pre-Roman times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world. Radishes have numerous varieties, varying in size, color and duration of required cultivation time. There are some radishes that are grown for their seeds; oilseed radishes are grown, as the name implies, for oil production. Radish can sprout from seed to small plant in as little as 3 days.

History

The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. Raphanistrum from the same Greek root is an old name once used for this genus. The common name "radish" is derived from Latin (Radix = root).

Although the radish was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman times, which leads to the assumption that it was brought into cultivation at an earlier time, it is noted that there are almost no archeological records available to help determine its earlier history and domestication. Wild forms of the radish and its relatives the mustards and turnip can be found over west Asia and Europe, suggesting that their domestication took place somewhere in that area. However , the origins of these plants are necessarily based on linguistic considerations.

Cultivation

Radishes grow best in full sun and light, sandy loams with pH 6.5–7.0. They are in season from April to June and from October to January in most parts of North America; in Europe and Japan they are available year-round due to the plurality of varieties grown.

Summer radishes mature rapidly, with many varieties germinating in 3–7 days, and reaching maturity in three to four weeks.Harvesting periods can be extended through repeated plantings, spaced a week or two apart.

As with other root crops, tilling the soil helps the roots grow. However, radishes are used in no-till farming to help reverse compaction.

Most soil types will work, though sandy loams are particularly good for winter and spring crops, while soils that form a hard crust can impair growth.The depth at which seeds are planted affects the size of the root, from 1 cm (0.4 in) deep recommended for small radishes to 4 cm (1.6 in) for large radishes.

Radishes are a common garden crop in the U.S., and the fast harvest cycle makes them a popular choice for children's gardens.

Companion plant

Radishes serve as companion plants for many other species, because of their ability to function as a trap crop against pests like flea beetles. These pests will attack the leaves, but the root remains healthy and can be harvested later.

Varieties

Broadly speaking, radishes can be categorized into four main types (summer, fall, winter, and spring) and a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, such as red, pink, white, gray-black or yellow radishes, with round or elongated roots that can grow longer than a parsnip.

Spring or summer radishes


Sometimes referred to as European radishes or spring radishes if they're planted in cooler weather, summer radishes are generally small and have a relatively short 3–4 week cultivation time.
The April Cross is a giant white radish hybrid that bolts very slowly.

Black radish
Bunny Tail is an heirloom variety from Italy, where it is known as 'Rosso Tondo A Piccola Punta Bianca'. It is slightly oblong, mostly red, with a white tip.
Cherry belle radish
 Cherry Belle is a bright red-skinned round variety with a white interior. It is familiar in North American supermarkets.
Champion radish
















Champion is round and red-skinned like the Cherry Belle, but with slightly larger roots, up to about 5 cm (2 in), and a milder flavor.

Red King has a mild flavor, with good resistance to club root, a problem that can arise from poor drainage.

Sicily Giant is a large heirloom variety from Sicily. It can reach up to two inches in diameter.

Snow Belle is an all-white variety of radish, similar in shape to the Cherry Belle.
White icicle



White Icicle or just Icicle is a white carrot-shaped variety, around 10–12 cm (4–5 in) long, dating back to the 16th century. It slices easily, and has better than average resistance to pithiness.
French breakfast

French Breakfast is an elongated red-skinned radish with a white splash at the root end. It is typically slightly milder than other summer varieties, but is among the quickest to turn pithy.
Purple radish

Plum Purple a purple-fuchsia radish that tends to stay crisp longer than average.

Gala and Roodbol
are two varieties popular in the Netherlands in a breakfast dish, thinly sliced on buttered bread.
Easter-egg radish

Easter Egg
is not an actual variety, but a mix of varieties with different skin colors, typically including white, pink, red, and purple radishes. Sold in markets or seed packets under the name, the seed mixes can extend harvesting duration from a single planting, as different varieties may mature at different times.

Winter varieties


Black Spanish or Black Spanish Round occur in both round and elongated forms, and are sometimes simply called the black radish or known by the French name Gros Noir d'Hiver. It dates in Europe to 1548, and was a common garden variety in England and France during the early 19th century. It has a rough black skin with hot-flavored white flesh, is round or irregularly pear shaped, and grows to around 10 cm (4 in) in diameter.

Daikon refers to a wide variety of winter radishes from Asia. While the Japanese name daikon has been adopted in English, it is also sometimes called the Japanese radish, Chinese radish, Oriental radish . Daikon commonly have elongated white roots, although many varieties of daikon exist. One well known variety is April Cross, with smooth white roots. Masato Red and Masato Green varieties as extremely long, well suited for fall planting and winter storage. The Sakurajima daikon is a hot-flavored variety which is typically grown to around 10 kg (22 lb), but which can grow to 30 kg (66 lb) when left in the ground.

Seed pod varieties



The seeds of radishes grow in siliques (widely referred to as "pods"), following flowering that happens when
Hailstone radish

left to grow past their normal harvesting period. The seeds are edible, and are sometimes used as a crunchy, spicy addition to salads. Some varieties are grown specifically for their seeds or seed pods, rather than their roots. The Rat-tailed radish, an old European variety thought to have come from East Asia centuries ago, has long, thin, curly pods which can exceed 20 cm (8 in) in length. The München Bier variety supplies spicy seeds that are sometimes served raw as an accompaniment to beer in Germany.

Nutritional value

Radish, raw, root onlyNutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

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Energy                      66 kJ (16 kcal)
Carbohydrates          3.40 g
- Sugars                    1.86 g
- Dietary fiber            1.6 g
Fat                             0.10 g
Protein                       0.68 g
Thiamine (vit. B1)       0.012 mg (1%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)     0.039 mg (3%)
Niacin (vit. B3)          0.254 mg (2%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.165 mg (3%)
Vitamin B6                 0.071 mg (5%)
Folate (vit. B9)           25 μg (6%)
Vitamin C                   14.8 mg (18%)
Calcium                      25 mg (3%)
Iron                            0.34 mg (3%)
Magnesium                 10 mg (3%)
Phosphorus                 20 mg (3%)
Potassium                    233 mg (5%)
Zinc                             0.28 mg (3%)
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Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. One cup of sliced red radish bulbs provides approximately 20 calories, largely from carbohydrates.

Uses

Cooking

The most commonly eaten portion is the napiform taproot, although the entire plant is edible and the tops can be used as a leaf vegetable. It can also be eaten as a sprout.
Radish sprouts

The bulb of the radish is usually eaten raw, although tougher specimens can be steamed. The raw flesh has a crisp texture and a pungent, peppery flavor, caused by glucosinolates and the enzyme myrosinase which combine when chewed to form allyl isothiocyanates, also present in mustard, horseradish, and wasabi.
Radish icicle

Radishes may be used in salads, as well as in many European dishes.

Industry

The seeds of the Raphanus sativus species can be pressed to extract seed oil. Wild radish seeds contain up to 48% oil content, and while not suitable for human consumption the oil is a potential source of biofuel. The oilseed radish grows well in cool climates.

Culture

Citizens of Oaxaca, Mexico, celebrate the radish in a festival called Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) on December 23 as a part of Christmas celebrations. Locals carve religious and popular figures out of radishes and display them in the town square.




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strawberry Cultivation






Scientific classification


Kingdom        : Plantae
(unranked)      : Angiosperms
(unranked)      : Eudicots
(unranked)      : Rosids
Order             : Rosales
Family            : Rosaceae
Subfamily       : Rosoideae
Genus            : Fragaria
Species          : F. × ananassa
Binomial name: Fragaria × ananassa
                        Duchesne

The garden strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the (common) strawberry. The fruit  is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness.Actually,it is not a botanical berry,it is an aggregate accessory fruit . It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in prepared foods such as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, and milkshakes. Artificial strawberry aroma is
also widely used in many industrialized food products.

The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714.

Cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa have replaced, in commercial production, the woodland strawberry, which was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century.

The strawberry is, in technical terms, an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant's ovaries but from the "receptacle" that holds the ovaries. Each apparent "seed" (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it. In both culinary and botanical terms, the entire structure is considered a fruit.

History

The first garden strawberry was grown in France during the late 18th century. Prior to this wild strawberries and cultivated selections from wild strawberry species were the common source for the fruit.

Cultivation


Fragaria × ananassa 'Gariguette,' a cultivar grown in southern France

Strawberry cultivars vary widely in size, color, flavor, shape, degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant. Some vary in foliage, and some vary materially in the relative development of their sexual organs. In most cases, the flowers appear hermaphroditic in structure, but function as either male or female.For purposes of commercial production, plants are propagated from runners (stolons) and, in general, distributed as either bare root plants or plugs. Cultivation follows one of two general models, annual plasticulture or a perennial system of matted rows or mounds. A small amount of strawberries are also produced in greenhouses during the off season.
strawberry cultivation in plasticulture
The bulk of modern commercial production uses the plasticulture system. In this method, raised beds are formed each year, fumigated, and covered with plastic to prevent weed growth and erosion. Plants, usually obtained from  nurseries, are planted through holes punched in this covering, and irrigation tubing is run underneath. Runners are removed from the plants as they appear, in order to encourage the plants to put most of their energy into fruit development. At the end of the harvest season, the plastic is removed and the plants are plowed into the ground. Because strawberry plants more than a year or two old begin to decline in productivity and fruit quality, this system of replacing the plants each year allows for improved yields and denser plantings. However, because it requires a longer growing season to allow for establishment of the plants each year, and because of the increased costs in terms of forming and covering the mounds and purchasing plants each year, it is not always practical in all areas.

The other major method, which uses the same plants from year to year growing in rows or on mounds, is most common in colder climates.It has lower investment costs, and lower overall maintenance requirements. Yields are typically lower than in plasticulture.
strawberry flowers
A third method uses a compost sock. Plants grown in compost socks have been shown to produce significantly higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), flavonoids, anthocyanins, fructose, glucose, sucrose, malic acid, and citric acid than fruit produced in the black plastic mulch or matted row systems. Similar results in an earlier 2003 study conducted by the US Dept of Agriculture, at the Agricultural Research Service, in Beltsville Maryland, confirms how compost plays a role in the bioactive qualities of two strawberry cultivars.

Strawberries are often grouped according to their flowering habit. Traditionally, this has consisted of a division between "June-bearing" strawberries, which bear their fruit in the early summer and "ever-bearing" strawberries, which often bear several crops of fruit throughout the season. Research has shown recently that strawberries actually occur in three basic flowering habits: short-day, long-day, and day-neutral. These refer to the day-length sensitivity of the plant and the type of photoperiod that induces flower formation. Day-neutral cultivars produce flowers regardless of the photoperiod.

Strawberries may also be propagated by seed, though this is primarily a hobby activity, and is not widely practiced commercially. A few seed-propagated cultivars have been developed for home use, and research into growing from seed commercially is ongoing.Seeds (achenes) are acquired either via commercial seed suppliers, or by collecting and saving them from the fruit.

Strawberries can also be grown indoors in strawberry pots.

Kashubian strawberry (truskawka kaszubska ) is produced in Kartuzy, Kościerzyna and Bytów counties and in the municipalities of Przywidz, Wejherowo, Luzino, Szemud, Linia, Łęczyce and Cewice in Kashubia. Only the following varieties may be sold as kaszëbskô malëna: Senga Sengana, Elsanta, Honeoye that have been graded as Extra or Class I.

Manuring and harvesting

Harvest

Most strawberry plants are now fed with artificial fertilizers, both before and after harvesting, and often before planting in plasticulture.

The harvesting and cleaning process has not changed substantially over time. The delicate strawberries are still harvested by hand. Grading and packing often occurs in the field, rather than in a processing facility. In large operations, strawberries are cleaned by means of water streams and shaking conveyor belts.

Pests


Around 200 species of pests are known to attack strawberries both directly and indirectly.These pests include slugs, moths, fruit flies, chafers, strawberry root weevils, strawberry thrips, strawberry sap beetles, strawberry crown moth, mites, aphids, and others.

A number of species of Lepidoptera feed on strawberry plants.

Diseases


Strawberry plants can fall victim to a number of diseases.

The leaves may be infected by powdery mildew, leaf spot (caused by the fungus Sphaerella fragariae), leaf blight (caused by the fungus Phomopsis obscurans), and by a variety of slime molds.


The crown and roots may fall victim to red stele, verticillium wilt, black root rot, and nematodes.

The fruits are subject to damage from gray mold, rhizopus rot, and leather rot.

The plants can also develop disease from temperature extremes during winter.

When watering your strawberries, be sure to water only the roots and not the leaves, as moisture on the leaves encourages growth of fungus. Ensure that the strawberries are grown in an open area to prevent fungal disease from occurring.

Production trends


World strawberry production in tonnes

Country             2006            2007             2008              2009                     2010
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USA              1,090,440    1,109,220    1,148,530     1,270,620                1,292,780
Turkey              211,127       250,316       261,078        291,996                   299,940
Spain                330,485       269,139       281,240        263,700                   275,300
Egypt                128,349       174,414       200,254        242,776                   238,432
Korea, South    205,307       203,227       192,296        203,772                   231,803
Mexico             191,843       176,396       207,485        233,041                   226,657
Japan                190,700       191,400       190,700        184,700                   177,500
Poland              193,666       174,578        200,723       198,907                   176,748
Germany           173,230       158,658        150,854       158,563                   166,911
Russia               227,000       230,400        180,000       185,000                   165,000
Italy                  143,315       160,558        155,583       163,044                   153,875
Morocco          112,000       120,000        130,000       355,020                   140,600
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Total world  3,973,243     4,001,721     4,136,802    4,596,614               4,366,889
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Agronomy


Strawberries are an easy plant to grow, and can be grown almost anywhere in the world. The best thing to do is to buy a plant in early to middle spring. Place the plant preferably in full sun, and in somewhat sandy soil. Strawberries are a strong plant that will survive many conditions, but, during the time that the plant is forming fruit, it is important for it to get enough water. Strawberries can also be grown as a potted plant, and will still produce fruit.
red strawberries
A strawberry plant will send out shoots in an attempt to propagate a new plant, and, if left alone, it will be successful in doing so, but this shoot can be cut off, and placed wherever you wish to start a new plant.

Uses

In addition to being consumed fresh, strawberries can be frozen, made into preserves, as well as dried and used in prepared foods, such as cereal bars. Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry-flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, and yogurts. Strawberries and cream is a popular dessert, famously consumed at Wimbledon. Depending on area, strawberry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, or strawberry shortcake are also popular. In Greece, strawberries are usually sprinkled with sugar and then dipped in Metaxa, a famous brandy, and served as a dessert.

Strawberry pigment extract can be used as a natural acid/base indicator due to the different color of the conjugate acid and conjugate base of the pigment.

Strawberries contain fisetin, an antioxidant that has been studied in relation to Alzheimer's disease and to kidney failure resulting from diabetes.

Nutrition

One cup (144 g) of strawberries contains approximately 45 calories (188 kJ) and is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids.Category Nutrient Units 1 cup (144 g) whole
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Proximates Water g               132
Energy kcal                             43
Energy kJ                              181
Protein g                              0.88
Total lipid (fat)                     0.53
Carbohydrate, by difference 10.1
Fiber, total dietary                  3.3
Ash                                     0.62
Minerals Calcium mg              20
Iron                                     0.55
Magnesium                             14
Phosphorus                            27
Potassium                             240
Sodium                                1.44
Zinc                                     0.19
Copper                                0.07
Manganese                          0.42
Selenium µg                         1.01
Vitamins Vitamin C, ascorbic acid mg 82
Thiamin                               0.03
Riboflavin                              0.1
Niacin                                 0.33
Pantothenic acid                  0.49
Vitamin B-6                        0.09
Folate µg                                25
Vitamin B-12 µg                       0
Vitamin A, IU IU                   39
Vitamin A, RE µg RE            4.3
Vitamin E mg ATE              0.20
Lipids Fatty acids, saturated g 0.03
                                   16:0 0.02
                                 18:0 0.006
Fatty acids, monounsaturated 0.075
                                  16:1 0.001
                                  18:1 0.073
Fatty acids, polyunsaturated 0.27
                                    18:2 0.16
                                    18:3 0.11
Cholesterol mg                          0
Phytosterols                            17
Amino acids Tryptophan g    0.01
Threonine                           0.027
Isoleucine                             0.02
Leucine                              0.045
Lysine                                0.036
Methionine                         0.001
Cystine                              0.007
Phenylalanine                     0.026
Tyrosine                             0.030
Valine                                 0.026
Arginine                              0.037
Histidine                              0.017
Alanine                                0.045
Aspartic acid                         0.20
Glutamic acid                         0.13
Glycine                                0.035
Proline                                 0.027
Serine                                  0.033
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Allergy


Some people experience an anaphylactoid reaction to the consumption of strawberries. The most common form of this reaction is oral allergy syndrome, but symptoms may also mimic hay fever or include dermatitis or hives, and, in severe cases, may cause breathing problems. Some research suggests that the allergen may be tied to a protein involved in the ripening of fruits, which was named Fra a1 (Fragaria allergen1). Homologous proteins are found in birch and apple, which suggests that people may develop cross-reactivity to all three species.

Pineberries

White-fruited strawberry cultivars, lacking Fra a1, may be an option for strawberry allergy sufferers. Since they lack a protein necessary for normal ripening, they do not produce the flavonoids that turn the mature 
white strawberries

berries of other cultivars red. They ripen but remain white, pale yellow or "golden", appearing like immature berries; this also has the advantage of making them less attractive to birds. A virtually allergen-free cultivar named 'Sofar' is available.




Saturday, April 14, 2012

Raspberry Cultivation


Raspberries are a biennial plant. In the spring the new growth or primocanes emerge from the root systems. For everbearing varieties  the new canes grow up, bloom in August, and produce clusters of berries on the tips in September and they last until frost. After they go through a winter they produce another crop of berries on the side shoots or floricanes. These berries come on in June . The cycle keeps repeating if the canes are given room so you will have two crops per year continuously, from the primocanes in September and from the floricanes in June.

The method for growing raspberries consists of double-digging a long bed 30" wide, oriented east-west. Compost to be added or composted manure and top with mulch. Raspberry starts are planted 18"-24" apart. Steel T-posts of the type used for electric fence can be used for support, placing them along the edges of the bed about 8-10 feet apart. Then horizontal wires (the lighter gauge electric fence wire) are to be  run at 1, 2, 3, and 4 feet off the ground to contain the canes. For multiple rows, 7 feet pathways can be left between rows. Dead canes can be cut out twice a year (the spent primocanes can be topped just above the upper wire in the winter) and move suckers that get out of the bed into new beds.

Raspberies do need good drainage and plenty of water. Full sun is best.

Uses of Raspberries:


Besides being delicious, raspberries have excellent nutritional qualities. They are rich in vitamin C, contain a potential anti-cancer agent called elegiac acid, and are a source of soluble fiber.

Raspberries freeze well (spread out on cookie sheets and freeze, then seal in freezer bags) and can be used in all kinds of recipes. One of the favorites is to heat the frozen berries gently in a saucepan and pour over ice cream. They make great smoothies- stir together in a blender frozen raspberries, banana, apple juice, peaches and strawberries if you have them.

Species

Examples of raspberry species in Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus include:
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Rubus crataegifolius (Korean raspberry)
Rubus gunnianus (Tasmanian alpine raspberry)
Rubus idaeus (European red raspberry)
Rubus leucodermis (Whitebark or Western raspberry, Blue raspberry, Black raspberry)
Rubus occidentalis (Black raspberry)
Rubus parvifolius (Australian native raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (Wine raspberry or Wineberry)
Rubus rosifolius (West Indian raspberry)
Rubus strigosus (American red raspberry)
Rubus ellipticus (Yellow Himalayan Raspberry)

Several species of Rubus are also called raspberries that are classified in other subgenera, including:

Rubus arcticus (Arctic raspberry, subgenus Cyclactis)
Rubus deliciosus (Boulder raspberry, subgenus Anoplobatus)
Rubus nivalis (Snow raspberry, subgenus Chamaebatus)
Rubus odoratus (Flowering raspberry, subgenus Anoplobatus)
Rubus sieboldii (Molucca raspberry, subgenus Malachobatus)
Here are some helpful websites for information on berries:
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Major kinds of cultivated raspberries



 Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world.

Many of the most important modern commercial red raspberry cultivars derive from hybrids between R. idaeus and R. strigosus. Some botanists consider the Eurasian and American red raspberries to all belong to a single, circumboreal species, Rubus idaeus, with the European plants then classified as either R. idaeus subsp. idaeus or R. idaeus var. idaeus, and the native North American red raspberries classified as either R. idaeus subsp. strigosus, or R. idaeus var. strigosus. Recent breeding has resulted in cultivars that are thornless and more strongly upright, not needing staking.

The black raspberry, Rubus occidentalis
, is also occasionally cultivated in the United States, providing both fresh and frozen fruit as well as jams, preserves, and other products, all with that species' distinctive, richer flavour.

Purple raspberries
have been produced by horticultural hybridization of red and black raspberries, and have also been found in the wild in a few places (for example, in Vermont) where the American red and the black raspberries both grow naturally. The botanical name Rubus × neglectus applies to these naturally occurring plants as well as horticulturally produced plants having the same parentage. Commercial production of purple-fruited raspberries is rare.

Both the red and the black raspberry species have albino-like pale-yellow natural or horticultural variants resulting from presence of recessive genes that impede production of anthocyanin pigments. Fruits from such plants are called golden raspberries or yellow raspberries; despite their similar appearance, they retain the distinctive flavour of their respective species (red or black). Most pale-fruited raspberries commercially sold in the eastern United States are derivatives of red raspberries. Yellow-fruited variants of the black raspberry are sometimes grown in home gardens.

Red raspberries have also been crossed with various species in other subgenera of the genus Rubus, resulting in a number of hybrids, the first of which was the loganberry. Later notable hybrids include boysenberry (a multi-generation hybrid), and tayberry. Hybridization between the familiar cultivated red raspberries and a few Asiatic species of Rubus has also been achieved.

Uses

Raspberries are grown for the fresh fruit market and for commercial processing into individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or as dried fruit used in a variety of grocery products. Traditionally, raspberries were a mid-summer crop, but with new technology, cultivars, and transportation, they can now be obtained year-round. Raspberries need ample sun and water for optimal development. Raspberries thrive in well-drained soil with a pH of between 6 and 7 with ample organic matter to assist in retaining water. While moisture is essential, wet and heavy soils or excess irrigation can bring on Phytophthora root rot which is one of the most serious pest problems facing red raspberry. As a cultivated plant in moist temperate regions, it is easy to grow and has a tendency to spread unless pruned. Escaped raspberries frequently appear as garden weeds, spread by seeds found in bird droppings.

An individual raspberry weighs 3–5 g (0.11–0.18 oz), and is made up of around 100 drupelets, each of which consists of a juicy pulp and a single central seed. Raspberry bushes can yield several hundred berries a year. Unlike blackberries and dewberries, a raspberry has a hollow core once it is removed from the receptacle.

Raspberry nutrients and health benefits
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Raw RaspberriesNutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy                 263.592 kJ (63.000 kcal)
Carbohydrates    14.7 g
- Sugars                5.4 g
- Dietary fibre          8 g
Fat                         .8 g
- saturated               0 g
- monounsaturated  .1 g
- polyunsaturated    .5 g
Protein                  1.5 g
Vitamin A equiv  .  1 μg (0%)
- beta-carotene      120 μg (1%)
Vitamin C              26.2 mg (32%)
Calcium                 25 mg (3%)
Iron                      .69 mg (5%)
Sodium                    1 mg (0%)
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Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanin pigments linked to potential health protection against several human diseases. The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fibre, placing it among plant foods with the highest fibre contents known, up to 20% fibre per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fibre (30% daily value). Contents of B vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron are considerable in raspberries.

Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength
, particularly due to their dense contents of ellagic acid , quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. Yellow raspberries and others with pale-coloured fruits are lower in anthocyanins.

Due to their rich contents of antioxidant vitamin C and the polyphenols mentioned above, raspberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Cranberries and wild blueberries have around 9000 ORAC units and apples average 2800.

Although there are no clinical studies to date proving these effects in humans, antioxidant and antiproliferative (chemopreventive) effects against cancer have been linked to the amount of phenolics and flavonoids in various foods including raspberries.

Raspberries are a low-glycemic index food, as are most other berries.

Commercial production
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Worldwide raspberry yield -Output in Tons, 2003-2004:
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 Russia              95000 26 % 110000 28 %
 Serbia              79471 21 % 79180 20 %
 United States    48535 13 % 50000 13 %
 Poland              42941 12 % 42000 11 %
 Germany           20600 6 % 20500 5 %
 Ukraine             19700 5 % 20000 5 %
 Canada             14236 4 % 13700 4 %
 Hungary            9000 2 % 10000 3 %
United Kingdom 8000 2 % 8000 2 %
 France               6830 2 % 7500 2 %
The Rest             27603 7 % 27890 7 %
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Total          371916 100 % 389061 100 %
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Leaves

Raspberry leaves can be used fresh or dried in herbal and medicinal teas. They have an astringent flavour, and in herbal medicine are reputed to be effective in regulating menses.

Cultivation

Raspberries are traditionally planted in the winter as dormant canes, although planting of tender, plug plants produced by tissue culture has become much more common. A specialized production system called "long cane production" involves growing canes for 1 year in a northern climate such as Scotland (UK) or Washington State (US) where the chilling requirement for proper bud break is met early. These canes are then dug, roots and all, to be replanted in warmer climates such as Spain where they quickly flower and produce a very early season crop. Plants should be spaced 1 m apart in fertile, well drained soil; raspberries are usually planted in raised beds/ridges if there is any question about root rot problems.

The flowers can be a major nectar source for honeybees and other pollinators.

Raspberries are very vigorous and can be locally invasive. They propagate using basal shoots (also known as suckers); extended underground shoots that develop roots and individual plants. They can sucker new canes some distance from the main plant. For this reason, raspberries spread well, and can take over gardens if left unchecked.

The fruit is harvested when it comes off the torus/receptacle easily and has turned a deep colour (red, black, purple, or golden yellow, depending on the species and cultivar). This is when the fruits are ripest and sweetest. Excess fruit can be made into raspberry jam or frozen.

Cultivated raspberry, in flower in a garden

Numerous raspberry cultivars have been selected. Raspberries are often propagated using cuttings and will root readily in moist soil conditions. Using cuttings preserves the genotype of the parent, and is the preferred method of propagation when making large plantings.

Two types of most commercially grown kinds of raspberry are available, the summer-bearing type that produces an abundance of fruit on second-year canes (floricanes) within a relatively short period in mid-summer, and double- or "ever"-bearing plants, which also bear some fruit on first-year canes (primocanes) in the late summer and fall, as well as the summer crop on second-year canes. Various kinds of raspberries can be cultivated from hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Diseases and pests 

Raspberries are sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths).

Botrytis cinerea, or Gray Mould, is a common fungal infection of raspberries and other soft fruit. It is seen as a grey mould growing on the raspberries, and particularly affects fruit which is bruised, as it provides an easy entrance point for the spores of B. Cinerea.

Raspberry plants should not be planted where potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants or bulbs have previously been grown, without prior fumigation of the soil. These crops are hosts for the disease Verticillium Wilt, a fungus that can stay in the soil for many years and can infest the raspberry crop.

How to Grow Raspberries

Everbearing raspberries are better to be choosen. The plants' canes grow to more than 7 feet tall every year.

Raspberries are not just another tasty berry; they are loaded with healthful attributes. They're high in fiber and contain vitamin A, folate, antioxidants, and numerous minerals; the juice contains vitamin C; and those sometimes-annoying little seeds contain vitamin E.
rootstock of raspberry

The key elements to raspberry success are careful selection of plant type, a good solid trellising system, and husbandry techniques that match the needs of the plant. Once everything is in place, the raspberry patch will provide one with many years of satisfaction.

Why choose an everbearing variety?

Most of the people  choose a classically red, everbearing variety called 'Summit'.Rooted canes can  be purchased from the nurseries which  are  certified disease-free.

Various raspberry cultivars will flourish from Zones 3 to 10. A little homework will get one, too, the right raspberries for one's location. Raspberries come in varying shapes, sizes, and colors—red, purple, golden, white in various nurseries.

Summer-bearing raspberries fruit for about a month, then it's all over  until next year. Everbearing raspberries, treated well, are just that—ever bearing. Once established, everbearing raspberries -- called fall bearing by some—begin production in July. The canes are usually so loaded down, they bend far over their support wires. Summer-bearing varieties generally fruit earlier, usually by a few weeks, so it is better to plant a few bushes of wine-red 'Brandywine' to enjoy while one  waits for the heavier-producing main crop. For variety, it is better to  add the yellow-tinged 'Golden', which is everbearing. Other similar varieties are 'Fall Gold', 'Golden Summit', and 'Golden Harvest'.

How many plants, and how big a patch?

Raspberries multiply precociously, prodigiously, and prolifically. If one plant is planted  this year, one will have a dozen or more in the same spot next year. Raspberries are joyfully exuberant about procreating by underground runners, poking up impressive numbers of healthy new plants all around the original patch. It is not a  problem  because one whack of the hoe takes care of them. One  can also present them to a friend or use them to extend your patch.

Two-row raspberry patch can be  7 feet wide by 33 feet long. It ca  be 9 or 10 feet wide to allow more elbowroom for picking between the rows. It is better to have  3 feet between rows, which is just barely enough. Four to 6 feet would be better.

Raised beds eliminate root rot


Raspberry plants hate wet feet, and they are gross feeders. It is better to  build a 20-inch-high raised bed and filling it with a mixture of four-fifths good garden topsoil blended with about one-fifth sand, peat, and well-rotted manure. If, soil is acidic , it is better to  add some lime, because raspberries prefer a soil pH of around 6.0. One end of the box may be kept open to allow easy access with  wheelbarrows, then closed it in when the box was full. This job can be done in the fall, so that one is  ready to plant, in coming  spring.

If soil is  rich, deep soil that drains well year-round, one can simply plant one's raspberries in a permanent garden site. The Pacific Northwest gets rain all winter, and many gardeners lose raspberries to root rot because they make the mistake of planting their raspberries' fussy little toes directly in the ground, which is often soggy clay covered with a skim of topsoil. Raised beds allow  to have deep soil that holds moisture evenly yet drains well.

It is important that one does not establish ones raspberry patch in an area where one  have recently grown tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes, to avoid verticillium wilt, which these vegetables can carry, and raspberries can catch.

Spring is the best time to plant

The best time to find plants, early spring, is also the best time to plant them .One can also  put raspberries in anytime in the summer . Spring plants will establish better, though, and may well give  a few berries their first summer.

The  bare-root plants may be soaked in a half-strength solution of vitamin B1 growth stimulant (1/2 teaspoon per quart water) for about six hours to give the  rootstock a healthy start. Planting should not be delayed. The small plants will not stand for soaking longer than a day in the B1 solution, and they will die quickly with dry roots. To keep the plants dormant  the bare-root plants  before one is  ready to plant, they can be put  in the fridge .

Have on hand some well-rotted manure, mushroom manure, or compost; organic fertilizer  or 4-20-20; a water source; and some mulch. Straw can be used for  mulch, but other materials will do just fine.

A hole of 1 foot deep and  wide can be dug  per plant. There should be a gap of  3 feet apart in the row for each plant . Handful of rotted manure and fertilizer can be put  in the hole.Some water can be added , the plant can be popped  in,  the soil  then carefully be tucked around and over its spread roots to make a small depression or basin at the surface, a place for rainfall to accumulate. Sprinkle some more rotted manure in this depression to provide a jump start for growth, then cover the ground around the plants with your mulch -- no more than 3 inches deep. Landscape cloth can be laid  over the  path between the rows and be covered it with wood chips. Drip irrigation is the ideal way to water raspberries, and this is the easiest time to install it.

Organic fertilizer mix for raspberries

A trellis of wooden crossbars and wires supports the canes in rows and keeps the path clear. Cross wires wrapped around the long wires form neat partitions of canes.A raspberry plant laden with fruit is top-heavy and needs support to keep it from falling over.

Pruning for a long harvest season

The smooth green 1-year-old canes and the rougher brown 2-year-old canes are easy to tell apart. Each spring, 1-year-old canes are trimmed back to below the fruiting area, and 2-year-old canes are removed completely.

The main purpose of pruning is to get rid of older canes in favor of newer canes that will produce fruit. In late summer, some of the newly planted canes will begin to fruit at the top of the cane and continue into the fall. In the early spring of the following year, while the plants are still dormant, it's time to prune these now 1-year-old canes, and here is where we do something special.

The common method of pruning everbearing raspberries is simply to cut all of the canes down to about 1 inch from the ground. Though it's an easy way to go, this method eliminates the July crop. Fruiting doesn't begin until early fall, the reason some raspberry growers call everbearing raspberries "fall bearing."

Raspberry plants need a significant amount of nitrogen to grow to their full 6 or 7 feet, but one should stop pushing high-nitrogen fertilizer on them as fruiting time approaches. At this time, the plants must concentrate on producing fruit instead of leaves. Using the homemade organic fertilizer on the facing page allows the plants to receive the nutrients they need when they need them.

Some of the critters that can attack raspberries are nematodes, root or bud weevils, aphids, fruit worms, and crown borers. This latter problem involves maggots girdling the emerging canes, which may then break off at soil level or produce a poor crop. If one  cuts  the canes to the ground, one  can confound the borers and avoid drenching the root zone with an insecticide.

To ensure pollination of the raspberries, better to build a simple orchard mason bee house by drilling holes in a 4x4 and giving it a shingle-roof overhang. The house can be secured to a sunny trellis pole, and the bees will come.

A few diseases one may encounter are fruit rot, root rot, and spur blight. Fruit rot is a fungus that sets up housekeeping when canes are too crowded. The remedy is to prune for openness and to pick frequently in wet weather. Overhead watering may be avoided and  fruiting canes are to be pruned out after harvest. Root rot results in the sudden death of the plant right after flowering, when the weather turns warm. The only remedy is to plant resistant varieties in friable, well-drained, rich soil. Spur blight shows up as dark chocolate-colored blotches on primocanes in mid-summer to fall when humidity is high. Infected areas on overwintered canes are silver gray and produce millions of spores. Lime-sulphur solution applied as a dormant spray and good air circulation provide adequate prevention.

On the flip side of pest control, healthy pollination is to be encouraged in the raspberry patch by building a simple home for orchard mason bees, which is to be attached to one of the trellis poles. It's just a length of 4x4 with 5/16-inch holes drilled in it and an overhanging shingle for a roof; the orchard bees take up residence in the holes and proceed to do their thing.

Use of berries

Raspberries can be eaten as desserts of all kinds, ranging from ice cream topped with berries or berries topped with ice cream and a mint leaf, to fancy cakes layered with mashed berries and chocolate and decorated with wild abandon. Bumbleberry pies can be made from a mixture of summer fruits with berries. Raspberries can be  freezed  in great quantities for subsequent use .

How to Freeze Raspberries

Freezing raspberries is easy. Simply spread clean, firm berries on a cookie sheet and pop it in the freezer. When frozen, the berries roll nicely into ziplock bags. The sweetest berries are from the heat of summer. They will keep until the following summer and are sheer ambrosia on pancakes or waffles. And all of the options that were open to you when they were fresh are still there. One can still, for example, make raspberry vinegar with frozen raspberries, and one  can spread sound berries over a salad to give it a special zing, certain to bring raves.

Raspberries keep well in the fridge for a few days, especially if one has picked them cleanly and discarded any mushy ones. An ice cream pail or any other plastic container with its lid on is all one need.

Raspberries can be mixed with  pulp from the golden plums  to make a jewel-toned jelly. Raspberries also make a great sauce, which can be frozen and used hot as the crowning touch on a simple dessert, or cold as a coulis. Raspberry juice can be mixed with soda to make a refreshing drink. The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cinnamon - Dalchini Cultivation





Cinnamon is a popular spice, sometimes praised for its health benefits – not to mention its deliciousness in apple pie! But what is cinnamon, and where does it come from?

What is Cinnamon Spice?
Cinnamon spice is made from tree bark. Two species of the cinnamon tree are most common, and provide most of the spice sold worldwide. The spice from Cinnamomum cassia has a stronger taste and dark brown colour. This version of the spice is popular in the United States. "True" cinnamon is a common term for the Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a native of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Its spice is sweeter in flavour.


Several of the less common species in this family are: C. burmanni and C. loureirii of Indonesia; C. oliveri from Australia; Cinnamomum of Papua New Guinea; and C. tamala from India.

The Cinnamon tree is a member of the Lauraceae family, which includes the avocado and the California bay leaf, among some 2,000 species in total. Most are woody trees and shrubs. The Cinnamon tree is evergreen.

Nomenclature and taxonomy

The name cinnamon comes through the Greek kinnámōmon from Phoenician.
Cinnamon is the dried bark of various laurel trees in the cinnamomun family. One of the more common trees from which Cinnamon is derived is the cassia. Ground cinnamon is perhaps the most common baking spice. Cinnamon sticks are made from long pieces of bark that are rolled, pressed, and dried.


In India, where it is cultivated on the hills of Kerala, it is called "karuvapatta" or "Elavanga Tholi"(Malayalam) or "dalchini" (Hindi). In Indonesia, where it is cultivated in Java and Sumatra, it is called kayu manis ("sweet wood") and sometimes cassia vera, the "real" cassia. In Sri Lanka, in Sinhala, cinnamon is known as kurundu or  Korunda. In several European languages, the word for cinnamon comes from the Latin word cannella, a diminutive of canna, "cane".

History

Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, but those who report that it had come from China confuse it with cassia.

It was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god: a fine inscription records the gift of cinnamon and cassia to the temple of Apollo at Miletus. Though its source was kept mysterious in the Mediterranean world for centuries by the middlemen who handled the spice trade, to protect their monopoly as suppliers, cinnamon is native to Malabar Coast of India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Bangladesh. It is also alluded to by Herodotus and other classical writers. It was too expensive to be commonly used on funeral pyres in Rome, but the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year's worth of the city's supply at the funeral for his wife Poppaea Sabina in AD 65.

Before the foundation of Cairo, Alexandria was the Mediterranean shipping port of cinnamon. Europeans who knew the Latin writers who were quoting Herodotus knew that cinnamon came up the Red Sea to the trading ports of Egypt, but whether from Ethiopia or not was less than clear. When the Sieur de Joinville accompanied his king to Egypt on crusade in 1248, he reported what he had been told—and believed—that cinnamon was fished up in nets at the source of the Nile out at the edge of the world. Through the Middle Ages, the source of cinnamon was a mystery to the Western world. Marco Polo avoided precision on this score. The first mention of the spice growing in Sri Lanka was in Zakariya al-Qazwini's Athar al-bilad wa-akhbar al-‘ibad in about 1270.

Indonesian rafts transported cinnamon (known in Indonesia as kayu manis- literally "sweet wood") on a "cinnamon route" directly from the Moluccas to East Africa, where local traders then carried it north to the Roman market.

Arab traders brought the spice via overland trade routes to Alexandria in Egypt, where it was bought by Venetian traders from Italy who held a monopoly on the spice trade in Europe. The disruption of this trade by the rise of other Mediterranean powers, such as the Mamluk Sultans and the Ottoman Empire, was one of many factors that led Europeans to search more widely for other routes to Asia.

Portuguese traders finally landed in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the beginning of the sixteenth century and restructured the traditional production and management of cinnamon by the Sinhalese, who later held the monopoly for cinnamon in Ceylon. The Portuguese established a fort on the island in 1518 and protected their own monopoly for over a hundred years.


Dutch traders finally dislodged the Portuguese by allying with the inland Kingdom of Kandy. They established a trading post in 1638, took control of the factories by 1640, and expelled all remaining Portuguese by 1658.

The Dutch East India Company continued to overhaul the methods of harvesting in the wild and eventually began to cultivate its own trees.

In 1767, Lord Brown of East India Company established Anjarakkandy Cinnamon Estate near Anjarakkandy in Cannanore (now Kannur) district of Kerala, and this estate became Asia's largest cinnamon estate.

The British took control of the island from the Dutch in 1796. However, the importance of the monopoly of Ceylon was already declining, as cultivation of the cinnamon tree spread to other areas, the more common cassia bark became more acceptable to consumers, and coffee, tea, sugar, and chocolate began to outstrip the popularity of traditional spices.

Cultivation
Cinnamon is known as Dalchini in India , and is vastly used in various industries for its aroma ,flavour .It originates from a tropical evergreen tree that need good rainfall and sunshine for propor growth . Adding to its quality features,it has high medicinal value .With its strong aroma and sweetness and good taste, cinnamon and cinnamon stick is basically the bark of a tree and is used as a spice in Indian food due to its distinct fragrance .Due to its distinct property , it is widely demanded in the international arena and used as spice .It is principally used in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material .Further it is also used in the preparation of chocolate .

         

Sri Lanka supplies about 70% of the world's demand for "true" cinnamon; its major importer is Mexico. Cassia cinnamon is grown in China and a few other countries.

Cinnamon is mainly propagated by seeds, although a plantation may plant cuttings as well. A hardy plant, it grows well in loam or sandy loam. The best bark comes from trees in sandy soil, although loam provides more rapid growth and higher yields.

Cinnamon tolerates wet through semi-dry conditions in Sri Lanka. Daytime temperatures should remain in the 20-30 degree Celsius range.

Cinnamon is harvested by growing the tree for two years then coppicing it. The next year, about a dozen shoots will form from the roots.
Cinnamon seeds

The branches harvested this way are processed by scraping off the outer bark, then beating the branch evenly with a hammer to loosen the inner bark. The inner bark is then prised out in long rolls. Only the thin (0.5 mm (0.020 in)) inner bark is used; the outer, woody portion is discarded, leaving metre-long cinnamon strips that curl into rolls ("quills") on drying. Once dry, the bark is cut into 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) lengths for sale.

The bark must be processed immediately after harvesting while still wet. Once processed, the bark will dry completely in four to six hours, provided that it is in a well-ventilated and relatively warm environment. A less than ideal drying environment encourages the proliferation of pests in the bark, which may then require treatment by fumigation. Bark treated this way is not considered to be of the same premium quality as untreated bark.
Cinnamon powder

Cinnamon has been cultivated from time immemorial in Sri Lanka, and the tree is also grown commercially at Kerala in southern India, Bangladesh, Java, Sumatra, the West Indies, Brazil, Vietnam, Madagascar, Zanzibar, and Egypt. Sri Lanka cinnamon has a very thin, smooth bark with a light-yellowish brown color and a highly fragrant aroma. In recent years in Sri Lanka, mechanical devices have been developed to ensure premium quality and worker safety and health, following considerable research by the Universities in that country led by the University of Ruhuna.

According to the International Herald Tribune, in 2006 Sri Lanka produced 90% of the world's cinnamon, followed by China, India, and Vietnam.According to the FAO, Indonesia produces 40% of the world's Cassia genus of cinnamon.
Broken cinnamon barks

The Sri Lankan grading system divides the cinnamon quills into four groups:

Alba, less than 6 mm (0.24 in) in diameter
Continental, less than 16 mm (0.63 in) in diameter
Mexican, less than 19 mm (0.75 in) in diameter
Hamburg, less than 32 mm (1.3 in) in diameter

Species

Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)  and Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii) quills

A number of species are often sold as cinnamon:

Cinnamomum verum ("True cinnamon", Sri Lanka cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon)
C. burmannii (Korintje or Indonesian cinnamon)
C. loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon or Vietnamese cinnamon)
C. aromaticum (Cassia or Chinese cinnamon)

There are several different cultivars of Cinnamomum verum based on the taste of bark:

Type 1 Sinhala: Pani Kurundu , Pat Kurundu  or Mapat Kurundu
Type 2 Sinhala: Naga Kurundu
Type 3 Sinhala: Pani Miris Kurundu
Type 4 Sinhala: Weli Kurundu
Type 5 Sinhala: Sewala Kurundu
Type 6 Sinhala: Kahata Kurundu
Type 7 Sinhala: Pieris Kurundu

Ceylon cinnamon, using only the thin inner bark, has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be more aromatic and more subtle in flavor than cassia. Cassia has a much stronger (somewhat harsher) flavour than Ceylon cinnamon, is generally a medium to light reddish brown, hard and woody in texture, and thicker (2–3 mm (0.079–0.12 in) thick), as all of the layers of bark are used.

Due to the presence of a moderately toxic component called coumarin, European health agencies have recently warned against consuming large amounts of cassia. This is contained in much lower dosages in Cinnamomum burmannii due to its low essential oil content. Coumarin is known to cause liver and kidney damage in high concentrations. Ceylon cinnamon has negligible amounts of coumarin.

The barks, when whole, are easily distinguished, and their microscopic characteristics are also quite distinct. Ceylon cinnamon sticks (or quills) have many thin layers and can easily be made into powder using a coffee or spice grinder, whereas cassia sticks are much harder. Indonesian cinnamon is often sold in neat quills made up of one thick layer, capable of damaging a spice or coffee grinder. Saigon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon are always sold as broken pieces of thick bark, as the bark is not supple enough to be rolled into quills. The powdered bark is harder to distinguish, but if it is treated with tincture of iodine (a test for starch, little effect is visible with pure Ceylon cinnamon, but when Chinese cinnamon is present, a deep-blue tint is produced.

Cinnamon is also sometimes confused with Malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala).

Flavor, aroma and taste

Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. This oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of a golden-yellow color, with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste. The pungent taste and
scent come from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde (about 60 % of the bark oil) and, by the absorption of oxygen as it ages, it darkens in color and develops resinous compounds. Other chemical components of the essential oil include ethyl cinnamate, eugenol (found mostly in the leaves), beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and methyl chavicol.

Uses


Spice from cinnamon



Unlike most trees that supply food for people, the cinnamon tree's bark is dried to become the spice. This is most obvious in cinnamon "sticks", which are simply rolled-up strips of dried cinnamon bark. Some studies find more health benefits from cassia, however.

Powdered cinnamon spice, therefore, is ground-up dried tree bark. Some people prefer the sweeter taste of zeylonicum over cassia.

Cinnamon is one of the most   Cinnamon is one of the most    important tree spices of India. Like its cousin

 cassia, cinnamon consists of layers of dried pieces of the inner bark of branches and young shoots from
 the evergreen tree Cinnamomum zeylanicum which is obtained when the cork and the cortical  parenchyma are removed from the whole bark. The thickness of the bark ranges from 0.2 to 1.0 mm. Pure cinnamon is free from any admixture with cassia, which is considered inferior to the former in appearance, flavor and odor. Cassia is the commonest substitute of cinnamon. While it may be possible morphologically to distinguish one from the other in the whole form, it is difficult to identify them in the powder form.

                                                            




Researchers have found that oregano, dill, thyme and rosemary have some of the highest levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Many of the spices contains anti cancerous Enzymes, so it is advisable for cancer patients to consume spices.








One of the oldest spices known is cinnamon. The benefit of cinnamon is that it reduces inflammation, and recently scientists have found out that consumption of cinnamon reduces cholesterol and is good for heart.







Cinnamon bark

Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavoring material. It is used in the preparation of chocolate, especially in Mexico, which is the main importer of true cinnamon. It is also used in many dessert recipes, such as apple pie, donuts, and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa, and liqueurs. True cinnamon, rather than cassia, is more suitable for use in sweet dishes. In the Middle East, it is often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb. In the United States, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavor cereals, bread-based dishes, and fruits, especially apples; a cinnamon-sugar mixture is even sold separately for such purposes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling. Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly. Cinnamon powder has long been an important spice in Persian cuisine, used in a variety of thick soups, drinks, and sweets. It is often mixed with rosewater or other spices to make a cinnamon-based curry powder for stews or just sprinkled on sweet treats (most notably Shole-zard, Persian . It is also used in sambar powder in Karnataka,India which gives it a rich aroma and tastes unique. It is also used in Turkish cuisine for both sweet and savory dishes.

Cinnamon has been proposed for use as an insect repellent, although it remains untested. Cinnamon leaf oil has been found to be very effective in killing mosquito larvae. The compounds cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol, and anethole, that are contained in cinnamon leaf oil, were found to have the highest effectiveness against mosquito larvae.


Benefits of Cinnamon
 
Cinnamon leaves are used in the form of powder or decoction. They are stimulant and useful in relieving flatulence and in increasing secretion and discharge of urine. Cinnamon prevents nervous tension, improves complexion and memory. A pinch of cinnamon powder mixed with honey does the trick if taken regularly every night for these purposes.
 
Bad breath 
 
Cinnamon can be used as a good mouth freshener.
 
 
Medicinal value

Research

In a 2000 study published in The Indian Journal of Medical Research, it was shown that of the 69 plant species screened, 16 were effective against HIV-1 and 4 were against both HIV-1 and HIV-2. The most effective extracts against HIV-1 and HIV-2 were respectively Cinnamomum cassia (bark) and Cardiospermum helicacabum (shoot + fruit).


An oil known as eugenol that comes from the leaves of the cinnamon bush has been shown to have antiviral properties in vitro, specifically against both the HSV-1 and HSV-2 (Oral and Genital Herpes) viruses according to a study published in the journal, Phytotherapy Research.

A 2003 study at National Institutes of Health shows benefits of cinnamon in diet of type 2 diabetics. "Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes".


A study conducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry suggests that specific plant terpenoids contained within cinnamon have potent antiviral properties.

Pharmacological experiments suggest that the cinnamon-derived dietary factor cinnamic aldehyde (cinnamaldehyde) activates the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response in human epithelial colon cells and may therefore represent an experimental chemopreventive dietary factor targeting colorectal carcinogenesis. Recent research documents anti-melanoma activity of cinnamic aldehyde observed in cell culture and a mouse model of human melanoma.

Cinnamon bark, a component of the traditional Japanese medicine Mao-to, has been shown in a 2008 study published in the Journal of General Virology to have an antiviral therapeutic effect.

A 2011 study isolated a substance (CEppt) in the cinnamon plant which inhibits development of Alzheimer's in mice. CEppt, an extract of cinnamon bark, seems to treat a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.