The purpose of this survey was a sensorial quality evaluation and a sanitary and hygienic status of selected spices, which were decontaminated according to technology designed and implemented in Department of Food Concentrates (Institute of Agricultural and Food Biotechnology). Selected seven dry spices (basil, marjoram, thyme, black pepper-whole, whole and ground caraway, ground coriander) were decontaminated with the use of steam. In 10 groups of each spice, both before and after thermal treatment sensory, the following physicochemical properties were determined. (moisture content, essential oils, total and acid insoluble ash) and microbiological (total bacteria count, fungi coliforms, fecal coliform and presence of Salmonella) The sensory quality of leafy and grinded spices after decontamination slightly decreased (colour, aroma and taste), while for other spices it was unchanged. All physicochemical properties of spices after decontamination process were in accordance to polish standards, so was the essential oils’content, though it decreased by 35-50% in leafy and ground spices. Decontamination effectively decreased microbiological contamination (below acceptable limits); only in some samples of basil, grinded caraway and coriander, the total aerobic bacterial count exceeded the acceptable range. It was stated that process of decontamination was appropriate for the most of spices.
spices, decontamination, steam, essential oils, microbiological quality