Steps in turmeric processing By Mr Allah Dad Khan

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Transcript of Steps in turmeric processing By Mr Allah Dad Khan

Steps in Turmeric Processing

Steps in Turmeric ProcessingA Lecture ByMr. Allah Dad Khan

Name in International LanguageName in Regional LanguageSpanishCurcumaEnglishTurmericFrenchCurcuma, saffron des IndesHindiHaldiGermanKurkuma gelbwurzelBengaliHoludSwedishGurkmejaGujaratiHaldiBurmesefanwinKannadaArishinaArabicKurkumMalayalamManjalDutchGeelwortelSindhiHaldaSinhalesekahaMarathiHaladThaikaminPunjabiHaldhor,Haldhar,HaldiIndonesiankunjit, kunyitOriyaHaldiItalianCurcumaTamilManjalPortugueseAcafrao-da-IndiaTeluguPasupuRussianZholty ImbirKasmiriLidarChineseYu. ChinKonKaniHalad, Ollod,OllodiIndiaHaldiSanskritHaladi,Haridra, HaritaUrduHaladi

Other namesTurmeric is known by different names in other languages. Given below, is a list of the popularly known names of this spice.


Turmeric, a herbaceous plant, belongs to the rhizome family.. While details about its origin are not clear, it is widely believed that turmeric finds its roots in South East Asia or South Asia where it is still grown extensively. A related species of turmeric , C. xanthorrhiza grows in Java, Indonesia , where it is known as the temu lawak. This species is similar in taste to C.domestica.InSubcontinent , it has been in use since time immemorial holding a very important place among the spices of India for its proven therapeutic properties. Its vivid, fast yellow colour made it an important dyeing agent in the ancient times and it is once again gaining popularity as a vegetable dye in todays ethnic apparel industry.For more details on the botanical details of turmeric, please navigate to the Turmeric Botany button


This root is highly revered in Ayurvedic medicine, as well as general South Asian cuisine. Native to Southern Asia, the name curcuma comes from the Arabic word "kurkum", or "saffron", and is an indication of its relationship to the vibrant orange color of both herbs. Since Biblical times, turmeric has been used to spice foods, make perfume and color clothing.


In accordance to the norms of the Spice Board, the physical characteristics of turmeric are finger like in shape, and forms the secondary rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa L.Typical characteristics include:Well set,closely grained, free from bulbs (primarily rhizomes) and ill developed, porous rhizomesTheir shape, length, colour and other characteristics are typical of the varietyAs stipulated by the Spice Board, good grades of turmeric must conform to the following specifications:Perfectly dryFree from damage caused by weevils, moisture, over-boiling or fungus attackIn a sample of good grade turmeric, only 1-2% by weight of rhizomes will be accepted under the damaged or over boiled clause.


Turmeric is a perennial, herbaceous plant that attains a growth rate of 60-90 cm in height. It has a short stem and tufted leaves and is a native of the Indian and Chinese tropical lands. With time, turmeric has become a popular crop across all the tropical nations.Today, it is cultivated extensively in India, Sri Lanka, parts of China, Pakistan, Halti, Jamaica, Peru, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Thailand, Taiwan and Indo-China.


Turmeric has a vast variety ofmedicinal uses. In traditional medicine, it used to treat liver ailments, ulcers, parasitic infections, skin problems, bruises, joint pain and inflammation, sprains, strains,cold and flu symptoms, as well as a general digestive aid. Scientific research shows that turmeric aids inbreaking down liver toxins, strengthens the functioning of the gallbladder, aids in lipid (fat) metabolizing, and stops blood clotting. In general, it is a good anti-inflammatory agent. What is more, recent studies show that turmeric may help prevent colon, breast, lung and other forms of cancers.

Climate and soil Turmeric can be grown in diverse tropical conditions from sea level to 1500 m above sea level, at a temperature range of 20-35oC with an annual rainfall of 1500 mm or more, under rain fed or

irrigated conditions. Though it can be grown on different types of soils, it thrives best in well-drained sandy or clay loamsoilswith a pH range of 4.5-7.5 with good organic status.

Preparation of land

The land is prepared with the receipt of early monsoon showers.The soil is brought to a fine tilth by giving about four deep ploughing. Hydrated lime @ 500 kg/ha has to be applied for laterite soils and thoroughly ploughed. Immediately with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers, beds of 1.0 m width, 15 cm height and of convenient length are prepared with spacing of 50 cm between beds. Planting is also done by forming ridges and furrows

Seed materialWhole or split mother and finger rhizomes are used for planting and well developed healthy and disease free rhizomes are to be selected. Small pits are made with a hand hoe on the beds with a

spacing of 25 cm x 30 cm. Pits are filled with well decomposed cattle manure or compost, seed rhizomes are placed over it then covered with soil. The optimum spacing in furrows and ridges is45-60 cm between the rows and 25 cm between the plants. A seed rate of 2,500 kg of rhizomes is required for planting one hectare of turmeric.

Manuring and fertilizer application

Farmyard manure (FYM) or compost @ 30-40 t/ha is applied by broadcasting and ploughed at the time of preparation of land or as basal dressing by spreading over the beds or in to the pits at

the time of planting. Zinc @ 5 kg/ha may also be applied at the time of planting andorganicmanures like oil cakes can also be applied @ 2 t/ha

Time of Sowing February and March


The crop is to be mulched immediately after planting with green leaves @ 12-15 t/ha. Mulching may be repeated @ 7.5 t/ha at 45 and 90 days after planting after weeding, application of fertilizers and earthing up.

Weeding and irrigation

Weeding has to be done thrice at 60, 90 and 120 days after planting depending upon weed intensity. In the case of irrigated crop, depending upon the weather and soil conditions, about 15 to 23 irrigation's are to be given in clayey soils and 40 irrigation's in sandy loams


Depending upon the variety, the crop becomes ready for harvest in 9-10 months after planting during January-March. Early varieties mature in 8-9 months, mediumvarieties in 9-10 months and late varieties after 10 months. The land is ploughed and the rhizomes are gathered by handpicking or the clumps are carefully lifted with a spade. The harvested rhizomes are cleared of mud and other extraneous matter adhering to them. The whole plant is removed from the ground. Care needs to be taken to prevent the rhizomes being cut or bruised.

Yield of TurmericThe Yield of pure crop varies from 8000 to 10000 kg/ acre

Processing of Turmeric The processing of turmeric is to be done 2 or 3days after harvesting. If there is delay in processing, the rhizomes should be stored under shade or covered with sawdust or coir dust.


The leaves are removed from the plant and the roots carefully washed to remove soil. Any leaf scales and long roots are trimmed off. The side (lateral) branches (which are known as the fingers) of the rhizomes are removed from the main central bulb (known as the mother). The mothers and fingers are heaped separately, covered in leaves and left to sweat for one day. The mothers are the preferred material for planting the following year.

Curing and Boiling Curing involves boiling offreshrhizomesin water and drying in the sun.In the traditional method of curing, the cleaned rhizomes are boiled in water just enough to immerse them. Boiling is stopped when froth comes out and white fumes appear giving out a typical odour. The boiling should last for 45-60 minutes when the rhizomes turn soft. The stage at which boiling is stopped largely influences the colour and aroma of the final product. Over cooking spoils the colour of the final product while under-cooking renders the dried product brittle.


Curing and Boiling The present practices recommended are:

The rhizomes are placed in shallow pans in large iron vats.

Water is added to a level at 5-7cm above the rhizomes.

Add 0.05 - 0.1% alkali (eg sodium bicarbonate).

The rhizomes should be boiled for between forty to forty-five minutes (as is done in India) and six hours (as is done in Hazare in Pakistan) depending on the variety.


The cooked fingers are dried in the sun by spreading them in5-7 cm thick layers on bamboo mats or drying floor. A thinner layer is not desirable, as the colour of the dried product may be adversely affected. During night time, the rhizomes should be heaped or covered with material which provides aeration. It may take 10-15 days for the rhizomes to become completely dry. The rhizomes are removed and dried in the sun immediately to prevent over cooking. The final moisture content should be between 8 and 10% (wet basis). When a finger will snap cleanly with a metallic sound it is sufficiently dry.


Dried turmeric has a poor appearance and a rough dull outer surface with scales and root bits. The appearance is improved by smoothening and polishing the outer surface by manual or mechanical rubbing.Manual polishing consists of rubbing the dried turmeric fingers on a hard surface.Turmeric is also polished in power operated drums. The yield of polished turmeric from the raw material varies from 15-25%.


The colour of the processed turmeric influences the price of the produce.For an attractive product, turmeric powder (mixed with little water) may be sprinkled during the last phase of polishing.



Quality specifications for turmeric are impose