Herbs and spices are among the most versatile ingredients in food processing, and alongside their sustained popularity as flavourants and colourants they are increasingly being used for their natural preservative and potential health-promoting properties. An authoritative new edition in two volumes, Handbook of herbs and spices provides a comprehensive guide to the properties, production and application of a wide variety of commercially-significant herbs and spices.

Volume 1 begins with an introduction to herbs and spices, discussing their definition, trade and applications. Both the quality specifications for herbs and spices and the quality indices for spice essential oils are reviewed in detail, before the book goes on to look in depth at individual herbs and spices, ranging from basil to vanilla. Each chapter provides detailed coverage of a single herb or spice and begins by considering origins, chemical composition and classification. The cultivation, production and processing of the specific herb or spice is then discussed in detail, followed by analysis of the main uses, functional properties and toxicity.

With its distinguished editor and international team of expert contributors, the two volumes of the new edition of Handbook of herbs and spices are an essential reference for manufacturers using herbs and spices in their products. They also provide valuable information for nutritionists and academic researchers.

Key Features

  • Provides a comprehensive guide to the properties, production and application of a wide variety of commercially-significant herbs and spices
  • Begins with a discussion of the definition, trade and applications of herbs and spices
  • Reviews the quality specifications for herbs and spices and examines the quality indices for spice essential oils


Manufacturers, food technologists and flavor/sensory specialists.

Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition

Volume 1

Chapter 1: Introduction to herbs and spices: definitions, trade and applications


1.1 Definitions

1.2 Trade in herbs and spices and trends in their use

1.3 Herbs and spices in traditional medicine

1.4 Herbs and spices in the food and beverage industries

1.5 Herbs and spices in the cosmetics and perfumery industries

1.6 Modern research into the medicinal and nutraceutical properties of herbs and spices

1.7 Production of quality herbs and spices

1.8 The structure of this book

Appendix 1 ISO list of plant species

Appendix 2 Major spice-producing areas

Chapter 2: Quality specifications for herbs and spices


2.1 Introduction: defining quality

2.2 Major international quality specifications

2.2.1 Adulteration

2.2.2 Prevention

2.3 Product-specific quality parameters

2.4 World spice organisations

2.5 Quality management system (QMS)

2.5.1 Senior management commitment

2.6 Environmental safety: ISO 14001

Appendix 1 Recommended analytical methods

Chapter 3: Quality indices for spice essential oils


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Major chemical constituents of spice essential oils

3.3 The problem of adulteration

3.3.1 Addition of synthetic flavourants

3.4 Future trends

Chapter 4: Basil


4.1 Introduction: the origin of basil

4.1.1 Definition of basil

4.2 Chemical composition of the basil plant

4.3 Production of basil

4.4 Post-harvest handling and production of basil

4.5 Main uses of basil

4.6 Functional properties of basil

4.7 Quality issues and toxicity

Chapter 5: Bay leaves


No. of pages:
© 2012
Woodhead Publishing
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:


…a good reference book for food processors and packers of herbs and spices., Food Technology (review of the first edition)
A truly comprehensive work, as well as easy to use. It should be the first source of information for anyone working with herbs and spices. This two-volume book gives comprehensive information on a wide range of the 109 plant species listed as spices and culinary herbs by the International Standards Organisation. It is a valuable resource for those whose work or interests lie in this direction., International Journal of Dairy Technology