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Old 12-26-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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ISO Info on Freezing Spices

I don't know where this belongs so if you move it I understand. If I have a chance to buy spices that are cost effective (ie) cloves and others) that I don't use very much what will happen to them if I vaccum seal them and store them in the freezer? Will theyd lose their color and or strength?

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Old 12-26-2007, 06:21 PM   #2
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whole spices stay fresh for long periods of time under airtight conditions. its the ground spices that lose their magic over extended periods of time. a simple lid works great for many months

a Vaccumn sealed package of whole spices will probably keep indefinatly at room temp I'm not sure what keeping them in the freezer will do, I don't think it will help any
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:26 PM   #3
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Heat and air are enemies of spices. Storing them in the freezer is not a bad idea. That is where I store my extra ground spices. Like Fincher said, whole does not need to be treated the same way, but it sure won't hurt anything.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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This is pure conjecture on my part, but I would be careful about the vacuum seal. This is because the flavor of the spice is contained in pockets of oils within the spice.
Light oils (and other liquids) tend to evaporate once exposed to air, so it would seem logical to remove the air. The problem with this is that once you reduce the air pressure, you also lower the temperature at which the liquid will "boil", or evaporate. In a pure vacuum, water boils away to nothing almost instantly, so an essential oil with a high vapor index will likely evaporate very quickly in a vacuum environment.
Better to simply put it into a sandwich bag and squeeze as much air out as possible and toss it into the freezer.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Goodgiver:



Here is an excerpt I found on proper storage of spices:





"Spices do not age well and have surprisingly short shelf lives. Whole spices and herbs have about twice the life of their ground counterparts. Whole leaves and flowers are good for a year; once they are ground, they are good for about six months. Whole seeds and barks last two years, once they are ground they are good for one year. Whole roots last more than two years, once ground, one year. If you find that you have to increase the amount of a given spice in a dish to make it "come out right" then the spice is telling you that it is old and has lost its potency.


When spices get old, one of two things occurs: they lose potency or they become bitter. In either case, old spices can be worse than no spices because they can have an unpleasant impact on the outcome of your meal. Look for the loss of color, or color fading as a good indicator that a spice might be old. If the spice does not have a fresh odor or taste, it may be time for it to be replaced. If your spice begins to cake up, it is a good sign that moisture has gotten to it, and it should be replaced.


The way spices are stored and handled have a lot to do with how long they will last. Proper storage will not improve the life of spices, but improper storage will decrease their effective life. Spices need to be stored in dark dry locations. Never store spices in the refrigerator, as the high humidity is harmful. Similarly, never hold a container of spices over an open container on a hot stove, as the moisture and heat rising from the open containers can get into the spices remaining in the container. Similarly, always use a clean, dry spoon when scooping spices out of a container.


Store your spices in a cabinet or in a spice drawer. Cabinets are acceptable because they mostly keep the spices out of the direct light, but cabinets are not efficient places for spice storage unless one uses an in-cabinet rack to provide easy access and to minimize wasted space. Well-designed spice drawers are an excellent choice as they keep spices away from the heat, light and moisture that are commonly found in kitchens. In addition, spice drawers lend themselves to the user of screw-cap jars with rubber seals that will help further protect the contents.


As with cabinets, putting spices in a pantry keeps them out of the light, but can be a potentially inefficient use of the space. A pantry is a good place to use a counter top spice rack, or you can mount one to a wall or the inside of the door. An alternative idea is to put the spices on a small step shelf, which will help make the smaller containers easier to organize and see.


Counter top and wall-mounted spice racks are attractive and popular, but they are not ideal for storage because they expose the spices to light, especially sunlight. Yet, they are very popular, and some kitchen designs make them a necessity. If you decide to use a freestanding or wall-mounted spice rack, pay particular attention to where it is located. Keep it as far away from the sink and stove as possible, so as to minimize moisture. Try to locate it where it never gets hit by direct sunlight. If you can minimize the amount of direct fluorescent light it gets, so much the better.
Taking these basic precautions can ensure that your rack not only looks attractive and compliments the kitchen, but it also protects your investment in spices."

Hope this helps!


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Old 12-31-2007, 01:51 PM   #6
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One more thing......

It could be argued that the freezer is a dry place since all moisture is chrystallized. What do you think?

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Old 12-31-2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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Hi Marko I have dozens of whole spices and I store them in my pantry which is cool and dark at all times. I have some spices that my mother got me from the spice souk in Dubai and it's been almost three years and they are still fine.

I don't grind my spices unless I need them. It's a very quick process to grind them using my coffee process and the flavor remains optimal.

You can store it in the freezer as well. Years ago in India we used to do that and the flavor stayed fine. At that point there were no vaccum seals available. They were just put in a plastic bag and popped in the freezer and they stayed fine.

Always remember to dry roast spices (in a dry skillet) on a low heat for several minutes to release the oils before you grind them. Contrary to what they say whole spices last for years.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:33 AM   #8
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Both the freezer and fridge are dry, not because of the crystallization of ice, but because of the condensation of moisture in the air. If you put a cold beer or soda can out in the open on a warm day, you'll see condensation form on the outside of the can.

The same thing happens in your fridge and freezer, only the condensation is typically collected and evaporated away for you. In old models you would have to empty the condensation tray every now and then.

There was another thread somewhere about drying out potatoes for making hash browns, and the consensus was that the fridge was the best way.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:50 AM   #9
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Try storing you brown sugar in the freezer. It never goes hard.

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