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Spice manufacturing is one of the world's oldest trading products. The word spice refers to any dried part of a plant other than the leaves, and is used for seasoning and food coloring. Spices are made from dried barks, roots, berries and twigs, while green leafy parts of plants are considered herbs. Well known examples include cinnamon, chilies, star anise, ginger, garlic salt, turmeric, cumin or pepper as well as pre-mixed blends such as Masala, Five-Spice Powder or Old Bay.

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When selecting production equipment for a production plant, it is important to talk to someone with experience in your field. Our industry experts have experience with various industrial applications. We’d love to help you!
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When producing spices for export compliance with various legal requirements and specifications on food safety, hygiene, traceability and control are essential. Due to continuing problems with high levels of pesticides, preservatives, aflatoxins and food additives, as well as salmonella contamination, it is likely that controls within the spice industry will become stricter in the future.

Production processes for making spices

Gentle drying or dehydration methods, like infrared drying or microwave vacuum drying, are used to reduce moisture content and ensure shelf life, while maintaining aromas, volatile oils, and colour. Classification, cutting, and grinding processes are challenged by temperature changes, wear and explosion risks. Cryogenic grinding techniques with nitrogen or conditioned air, help to minimize loss of essential oils while grinding at sub zero temperatures. Spice mixes and blends require gentle mixing and homogenization to create dust-free, uniform, free flowing batches but also blend up liquids such as oils, fat and other extracts.

Producing Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of the tree species from the genus Cinnamomum, and is known for its brown colour and sweet aroma and flavour. Shoots are first scraped with a semicircular blade and then rubbed with a brass rod to loosen the bark, which is split with a knife and peeled. The peels are telescoped one into another, forming a quill. After this, they are left to dry naturally for 4-5 days. However, true cinnamon thrives in a warm, wet climate thus it is necessary to use a mechanical dryer to complete the drying process.

Sterilization of Peppercorns

Peppercorns are the unripe fruit of the piper nigrum plant. Collected fruits are immersed in boiling water for about 10 minutes, which causes them to turn dark brown or black in an hour. The softened outer coating is then removed by washing and rubbing or trampling. The whole peppercorns, when ground, yield black pepper. To reduce microbial load on peppers, such as TPC, E.coli, salmonella, yeast, mold, Infrared drying technology can be used for sterilization of ground spices while avoiding overheating and loss of essential oils.

Filling, dosing and spice packaging technology

Powder characteristics such as particle density, flowability, dustiness and segregation tendency will determine the type of dosing and filling systems suitable for your product. Whole spices such as the seeds from cardamom and coriander can easily be ground into fine powders.  Uniformity of a final blend or mixture is needed to guarantee the ingredient ratio. Whether you would like to pack your spices into small stick-packs, stand up pouches, containers or jars, it’s important to find a solution that matches your production process and scale. Apart from different form fill and sealing or bagging solutions, our partners also have interesting solutions for quality control, labeling and transport.

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