Cloves Biological Name, Physical Properties and Chemical Constituents:
Clove consists of dried flower buds of Eugenia caryophyllus belonging to the family Myrtaceae.
Cloves are crimson to dark brown in colour and slightly aromatic.
Cloves contain chemicals like tannins (gallotannic acid), resin, chromone and eugenin. The volatile oil conains eugenol, eugenol acetate, caryophyllene and small amounts of esters, ketones and alcohols.
Medicinal Uses of Cloves:
Clove is used as:
- Dental analgesic
- Flavouring agent
- Used in the preparation of cigarettes
- Manufacturing of vanillin
Adulterants of cloves:
- Mother cloves: Mother cloves are dark brown, ovate ripened fruits of clove tree. These cloves contain starch and are slightly aromatic. Volatile oil content is low in them.
- Blown cloves: Blown cloves are the expanded flowers of the clove tree. Stamens get detached in these flowers. They contain volatile oil which is less than the original cloves. They are also in same colour as the cloves.
- Clove stalks: Stalks of the cloves are generally used to adulterate the cloves powder. This can be identified by the presence of isodiametric sclerides and prisms of calcium oxalate. They are mixed with cloves because of their similarity in colour, odour and taste. They contain less amount of oil.
- Exhausted cloves: These are the used cloves whose oil has been removed already by the distillation. These cloves are dark in colour and shrunken when pressed with finger nails. They do not show the presence of oil. These exhausted cloves float on the water.