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SPICES Biology, History, Production, Uses Janice Ott.

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Presentation on theme: "SPICES Biology, History, Production, Uses Janice Ott."— Presentation transcript:

1 SPICES Biology, History, Production, Uses Janice Ott

2 “He who controls the spice, controls the universe.” from Dune by Frank Herbert

3 Sassafras

4 Sassafras albidum Food for birds, mammals

5 Beverage, tea Exported by colonists (second to tobacco) Learned from Iroquois tonic after labor topical for rhematism colds, fevers FilE used for thickening gumbo from dried, ground leaf Root beer Soaps, perfumes

6 1970s safrole liver damage Precursor to MDMA (ecstasy) Safrole is a weak carcinogen in rats Banned by FDA Roots dont’s have safrole Analgesic, antiseptic, fungicide

7 What “Aromatic natural products that are the dried seeds, buds, fruit, flower parts, bark, or roots of plants, usually of tropical origin.”

8 All spices are edible. Herbs are not spices, usually leaves. When dried, herbs can be a spice.

9 HERBIVORY Herbivory is Predation

10 Insects (adult and larvae), mammals, rodents, fungi

11 Leaf miner Sap sucker, gall makers Defoliators

12 Galls

13 Bark Beetles

14 Mammal Damage

15 deer




19 I. Plants Problem  Decrease fitness  Decrease vigor, biomass  Decrease competitive edge  Decrease reproduction

20 II. Plants Solution 1. thorns Prickly Rose

21 2. Secondary compounds  Primary compounds are proteins, sugars, starches needed for growth  When herbivory is high produce toxins

22 Secondary compounds Black pepper cinnamonnicotine

23 a. Secondary compounds discourage herbivores  1) tannins  2) phenols (aromatics)  3) terpenes (volatiles)


25 I.Alkaloids (affect nervous system) act as insecticides 1. Morphine 2. Cocaine (coca leaves) 3. Caffeine allelopathy chocolate, tea 4. Nicotine 5. Mescaline (Peyote) 6. Nutmeg 7. Morning Glory 8. Nightshades

26 II. Terpenoids all plants, volatile 1. Essential oils fragrance to deter pathogens deter herbivores humans use for aromatherapy humans use for topical medicine 2. Taxol treat ovarian and breast cancer from fungus on European yew 3. Rubber

27 III. Phenols attract pollinators Flavonoids, Flavins 1. Anthocyanins Grapes, berries Color depends on pH Human – protect against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, aging

28 2.Salicylic Acid Willow tree, aspirin, skin care Hippocrates 3.Lignin adds strength to cell walls Waterproof Fungal attacks

29 Secondary are toxic Usually in specific vacuoles Not every plant can produce every product Only produced when needed

30 Plants response to overgrazing  Fast growing plants protect juvenile parts  Slow growing plants defend entire life

31 Secondary compounds  b. suppress competitors  c. expensive only for valuable tissue (young) defense only when needed withdraw when no longer needed

32 d. coevolution  Hares10 year  Voles3-4 year  Moose10-30 year Response: heavier shoots longer sprouts overgrowth at growing tips no flowers this year

33 III. Herbivory  Most eaten: young, tender tips (papyriferic acid 2x in shoots) high carbon areas birch, willow, aspen, poplar  Least eaten: alder, spruce, old wood

34 Coevolution Milkweed is toxic


36 History Accidently –Who???? Used to mask unpleasant Money cardamon = years wages peppercorns = several slaves

37 Spice Trade


39 3,000 BCE First record of trade Assyrians 2600 BCE Evidence pyramid builders had foreign spices 1550 BCE Ebers papyrus lists spices used for medicine and embalming

40 Bible: Joseph sold to a spice caravan

41 1750 BCE Hammurabi codes Lists penalities for sloppy medical use of spices 1458 BCE Egyptian queen,Hatshepsut, visited Punt (modern Somalia) for spices

42 Arabs controlled trade for centuries 950 BCE caravans from India to the Greeks

43 Incense Road

44 Caravan could take 2 years



47 Incense Road, Silk Road

48 425 BCE Herodotus harvest cinnamon 331 BCE Alexander the Great founded Alexandria 80 BCE Ptolemy gave Alexandria to Romans


50 Arabs dominated until 1100 CE

51 1298 CE Marco Polo traveled to China, found world about spice locations.


53 Vasco de Gama 1498 CE first to reach India by sea

54 Most important event

55 Portugal and Spain 1493 Pope Alexander VI split

56 1519-1522 Magellan Circumnavigate 5 ships, only 1 left

57 Spain sold rights to Portugal, Portugal controlled spice trade

58 1580 Sir Francis Drake 1580 British East India Company 1640 Dutch East India Company Dutch seized Malaysia 1780 Dutch and English war English control

59 Okay, okay, okay. What’s in your cupboard?


61 Worldwide importance Medieval every town had Pepper St. Pepper district Canterbury Tales Sailors = gold earring, bag of peppercorns

62 India>Pakistan, Afghanistan> Iran, Iraq, Syria>Turkey> Balkan States>Venice Perfect for trade Venice became strong nation Developed banking system Medici Bank

63 Piper nigrum Vine Fruit is a drupe produces 3 rd yr continue 15 yrs

64 Originally S. India Currently 34% Vietnam

65 Turns red when ripe

66 Peppercorn Cooked and dried

67 Green =unripe White = ripe, soaked, outer removed Black = half-ripe, dry

68 Manganese Vitamin K Copper Fiber Iron Chromium calcium

69 Medicine aid digestion stimulates taste buds increase hydrochloric acid improve appetite treat coughs, colds colic diabetes anemia chewed for throat inflammation

70 Contains alkaloids piperine CNS depressant anti-oxidant anti-fungal anti-flatulent diuretic breakdown fat cells

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