Paprika, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric… There are dozens of spices to use alone or mixed to flavor your meals. Although they are not perishable, spices must still be subject to certain hygiene rules, to avoid the risk of poisoning. Let’s take stock with Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad, dietitian-nutritionist.
Spices are an easy way to add flavor to the simplest meal. Giving taste and color to dishes, they are appreciated by the greatest number of people. How to store them properly and avoid any risk of poisoning? Here are the tips from Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad, dietitian-nutritionist.
Spices do not have a Use By Date (DLC)
Spices are not a perishable product. “They can be kept for several months or even several years, a bit like coffee, sugar, rice.” firstly explains Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad. They are subject to the DDM, that is to say a minimum durability date (formerly DLUO or best before date). The spices therefore do not have expiry date and for the specialist, there is “There is no risk in consuming them if they have been well preserved, even if the DDM has been exceeded, as long as they are fragrant.
Be careful where you buy your spices
Often, spices are purchased at a market or sometimes even abroad. “If we buy them in bulk, at the market or even abroad, we are not sure that they have been stored in good conditions, there is a risk of contamination by mycotoxins and fungi. reminds the dietitian. The first advice to follow, to avoid any risk, is not to buy them anywhere.
Store them well
Spices are sensitive to light which accelerates their aging. “Spices come from different parts of plants: paprika, star anise, vanilla, chili pepper, vanilla are the fruits of plants, cinnamon is the bark of the plant, turmeric and ginger come from the root of plants and nigella or cumin are the seeds of plants, hence their sensitivity to light”joust Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad. “The risk of exposing them to light is that they oxidize, they are better stored in the dark, in a spice box or in a cupboard. advises our expert.
Be careful of humidity and grease in the kitchen
Spices must also be protected from humidity and grease. “The pots must be in the dark and protected from humidity to avoid the development of micro-organisms. It may look nice to put small spice jars near your hob, but it is not a good idea in reality because they will be exposed to cooking grease, even though they require a healthy and dry place to be. stored without risk” indicates the specialist.
Place new spices in clean jars
Another common mistake is to put new spices in the same pot as the old ones. “When you restock your spices, you put them in clean jars to keep them longer. We do not mix new spices with old ones and we prefer cleaned and dried jars, not glass, to keep them protected from light.” explains the expert. To protect them over time, it is possible to buy food moth traps, in adhesive strips, to place near the spices, to prevent their development.
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Finally, think about basic hygiene rules
Finally, to protect your spices for longer and avoid any contamination, “When you cook, your fingers are wet or greasy. Avoid taking the spices directly from the jar. We wash our hands well, and instead use a spoon to help ourselves.” concludes the dietitian.