Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20 °C and 30 °C (68 °F and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell. Curcumin can be used to test the alkalinity or acidity of foods. It turns yellow in an acidic food, and it turns red in an alkaline food.

In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as Indian saffron since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice.

Kasur district of Pakistan is the largest producer of turmeric in Pakistan. Nizamabad, a city in the south Indian state of Andhra pradesh, is the world's largest producer and most important trading center of turmeric in Asia. Erode in Tamil Nadu is another important turmeric trading center that receives turmeric produced not only from Tamil Nadu, but also from the neighboring state of Karnataka. In history, Erode is also known as the "Turmeric City". Sangli, a town in the southern part of the Indian western state of Maharashtra, is another large trading center for turmeric in Asia. Mayo cultivators introduced different varieties of turmeric in Kasur.

Turmeric is commonly called Pasupu in Telugu, Kaha (කහ) in Sinhala, Manjal (மஞ்சள் ) in Tamil literally meaning yellow color, Arisina (ಅರಿಸಿಣ) in Kannada, Haridra (हरिद्र) in Sanskrit, Haldi (حلدی) in Urdu and Haldar or Haldi (हल्दी) in Hindi, Haladi (ହଳଦୀ) in Oriya, 'Halud (হলুদ)'in Bengali Besar(बॆसार) in Nepalese. Attempts to patent turmeric have been defeated.


Ethiopian Pulses, Oil Seeds and Spices Processors and Exporters Association (EPOSPEA)

Tel: +251 11 662 35 45

Fax: +251 11 662 35 04

Mob: +251 914 70 33 34

E-mail: epospea@gmail.com, epospeajossy@gmail.com

Website: www.epospeaeth.org

Office address; Haile Gebereslassie Avenue, 22 mazoria
Rebecca building next to Axum Hotel
7th floor room # 703

Thursday the 22nd. Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors Exporters Association
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