Common Indian spices: nutrient composition, consumption and contribution to dietary value

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1993 Sep;44(2):137-48. doi: 10.1007/BF01088378.


Nutrient composition of eight commonly consumed spices of South India was analysed. Spices analysed were red chillies (Capsicum annum), black pepper (Piper nigrum), coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum), cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum), garlic (Allium sativum), asafoetida (Ferula foetida), dry ginger (Zingiber officinale) and ajowan (Carum copticum). The nutrients analysed were proximate principles, minerals, starch, sugars, dietary fibre components, tannins, phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and amino acids. Dry ginger, ajowan and asafoetida had high calcium (1.0-1.5%) and iron (54-62 mg/100 g) levels. The tannin content of spices was also high (0.9-1.3% DM). Dietary fibre ranged from 14-53%. Spices had appreciable amounts of essential amino acids like lysine and threonine. A survey revealed the average per capita consumption of spices to be 9.54 g and at that level, the nutrient contribution from spices ranged from 1.2 to 7.9% of an average adult Indian male's requirement for different nutrients.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / analysis
  • India
  • Male
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Phytic Acid / analysis
  • Spices / analysis*
  • Starch / analysis


  • Amino Acids
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Minerals
  • Phytic Acid
  • Starch