Garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) belonging to Cruciferae family is widely grown in India, Europe, and United States. It has been used as an important medicinal plant since the Vedic era. Its seed, oil, and powder contain significant amount of protein, fat, minerals, fibers, and phytochemicals, which are incorporated in many functional beverages and foods. A number of clinical trials have been conducted on rats that also support the efficacy of garden cress seeds (GCSs). The seed of garden cress was used in the fortification of different food items but due to the lack of their physicochemical properties and medicinal value, the exploration of the potential of garden cress seed was limited. In the present review, we discuss the proximate chemical composition, physicochemical, medicinal properties, and the food product development with garden cress seed. The functional properties of garden cress seed stimulate us to review its different valuable properties and the fortified products developed by incorporating garden cress seeds.
Part of the book: Seed Biology
India is the largest producer and consumer of some important common spices. Major Indian spices include pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and chilies. Commercial cultivation in India is undertaken on 27 spices besides the herbal spices. Spices and herbs are mostly used as seasonings to impart flavors, pungency, aroma and color in the food. In addition, spices enhances shelf life of the food by preventing and delaying the spoilage and by preserving the sensory attributes of food products. Spices contain several important phytochemicals like aromatic compounds, essential oils, phenolics and pigments which imparts characteristic flavor and aroma and gives a herbal appeal to the food and beverages and enhances their consumer acceptability. In addition the active components of these herbs and spices are endowed with tremendous functional properties and medicinal values providing several health benefits and immunity. The era of Covid-19 has seen spiked consumption of spices and herbs based health drinks and concoctions for providing these health benefits and immunity. The present chapter deals with the characteristics of some important Indian spices, their usages, active components present in them along with exploring their health benefits, functional and immunomodulant properties.
Part of the book: Herbs and Spices
Recently, an increased interest in exploiting the functional and medicinal health attributes of herbs and spices has been observed worldwide among the health conscious consumers to preserve and promote the health and nutrition and immunity particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic era. Fortification of dairy products with these herbs and spices so as to exploit the functional and medicinal attributes have also gained momentum. Herbs and spices are rich source of bioactive compounds such as anti-oxidants, vitamins, micro- and macro-minerals, phytochemicals like flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, essential oils, coumarin, organic acids, phenols and saponins. Milk and other dairy products have been popular compatible vehicles for delivering functional, nutritional and other health benefits of phytochemicals of herbs and spices among the consumers. This chapter explores the quality and functional attributes of herbs and spices fortified dairy products such as herbal spiked milk, curd and yoghurts, paneer, cheese and ice creams and other dairy products.
Part of the book: Herbs and Spices