Choosing herbs and spices, first consider their packaging. High-quality and expensive products are unlikely to conclude in a shell consisting of polyethylene, covered on the outside by a layer of paper.
Slightly more expensive is a pack of propylene, however, the quality of the spices in it are unlikely to be materially different from the contents of the package, polyethylene and paper.
Recommend to stop your choice on the spices, Packed in three-layer shell with an inner part of metal foil. This method of packing not only not miss the moisture content of the package, but will provide the spices as gentle as possible storage.
With high certainty it can be argued that the quality of spices from the three-layer packaging will be very decent. It is clear that the cost of these spices will be much higher.
If financial problems are unfamiliar to you and you prefer products premium, buy herbs and spices, in glass jars.
Be aware that the easiest way to disguise poor quality or fake spices – grind them. And the stronger the particle size, the higher the probability to buy a fake.
For example, black pepper may be prepared by pulverization of selected grains of high quality, and can be a powder from the waste, to which is added flour and essential oils.
That is why the best way to buy a quality product is to buy spices coarse. Or better yet, buy them whole and then grind as needed using a pestle and mortar.
Manufacturer and shelf life
We will talk not about a particular brand, and about how far is geographically located manufacturer of spices from their places of growth of the feedstock.
Why is it so important? Imagine a chain: the company is the manufacturer of the official or exclusive distributor – importer – sales representative – packer – distributor of products. How does a full-fledged spices to maintain their quality after such a long journey?
The best option is a combination of two agents: the manufacturer packer or the manufacturer – seller. If the package with spices are more than two companies involved in the production of product from such a purchase should be abandoned.
Remember that the shelf life of almost all spices is six months. If the retention period specified on the packaging, is a year or more, then in addition to sweet seeds and plants in the composition of the spices included preservatives and fragrances.
Spices – the product is self-sufficient, needs no amplification no taste, no smell. However, on the packaging of many of them are present designation of food additives.
The aforementioned "eshki" can be harmless, and to carry a health threat. So, in addition to safe citric acid (E330), giving a sour, silicon dioxide (Е551) that prevents caking and clumping, curcumin (E100), giving the product a brighter color, in the composition of some spices may include conditionally safe flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (E621) and hazardous stabilizer micromalthus (E1412).
Good luck with your choice and delicious dishes!