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I am reading that cloves can cloud the plastic in my grinder at Cooking for engineers

Does this happen with any other spices?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've had a good look and as far as I can see only cloves and allspice have this property. Most websites specify that it's due to an oil present in cloves however according to Wikipedia the main chemical components in clove oil (admittedly not cloves but fairly similar) are:

Bud oil is derived form the flower-buds of S. aromaticum. It consists of 60–90% eugenol, eugenyl acetate, caryophyllene and other minor constituents.

Leaf oil is derived from the leaves of S. aromaticum. It consists of 82–88% eugenol with little or no eugenyl acetate, and minor constituents.

Stem oil is derived from the twigs of S. aromaticum. It consists of 90–95% eugenol, with other minor constituents.

As neither eugenol, eugenyl acetate nor caryophyllene have this property the oil that does cause 'plastic clouding' must be fairly low.

Likewise the main chemical components of allspice oil according to Essential-oils.co.za are:

eugenol, menthyl eugenol, cineol, phellandrene and caryophyllene.

None of these chemicals have chemicals with that property. However many of the chemicals in allspice and clove are also present in nutmeg, black pepper and cinnamon.

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