Spices are any pungent, aromatic plant substances used to flavor food or
beverages. Plant foods and agricultural commodities including spices are increasingly
subjected to adulteration by design or default. This study aimed to compare home
grinded spices against ready locally prepared ones in Libyan market. Chosen spices
were compared according to their percentage of yield, organoleptic features, and
pharmacognostic parameters as macroscopic and microscopic characteristics, pH
measurement, microbial contamination (total viable count and microbial
identification), and thin layer chromatography (TLC) chromatogram and diphenyl
picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity. From the results, the ready prepared
samples showed to have higher percentage of yield compared to home prepared ones.
There were no difference in organoleptic test results, macroscopic and microscopic
characteristics and pH test results. Bacteria in spices samples were too many to count
(TMTC) in most samples, however thyme, rosemary and cinnamon showed better
results. The isolated bacteria were identified as Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli
species. TLC chromatogram and DPPH scavenging activity test also showed no
difference in both sample groups. All these tests indicates that the samples obtained
from market as grinded powder and the same samples of spices that was brought as a
raw materials and grinded at home had the same characteristics, which indicated that
they are of the same quality which not necessary to be a good one.
Keywords: Spices, adulteration, quality control, Libya.

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