clove tree is endemic in the North Moluccas ( Indonesia ) and was of
old cultivated on the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Bacan and the West
coast of Halmahera . The Dutch extended cultivation to several other
islands in the Moluccas, but only after the end of the Dutch monopoly
(18 th century), clove trees were introduced to other countries.
The most important production area today is the island of Pemba near
Zanzibar in Tanzania. The whole island of Pemba is covered with clove
Used plant part: Dried flower buds. Essential oil is also produced
from the leaves (the leaves are certainly aromatic enough to make them
potentially interesting). The ripe fruits (mother of clove) have only
Sensoric quality: Cloves are strongly aromatic and very intensive
fragrance; fiery and burning taste.
They have deep brown colour, a powerfully fragrant odour which is
warm, pungent, strongly sweet and slightly astringent and a taste too
hot and acrid to be pleasant.
Cloves Use : Arab traders brought cloves to Europe in the time of the
Romans. At that time cloves were still very expensive.
Indonesians are the main consumers of cloves and use up nearly 50% of
the world's production. But, not for cooking but for smoking.
Cigarettes flavored with cloves kretek are extremely popular and
nearly every (male) Indonesian enjoys them.
|Country of Origin: Indonesia
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
|Harvesting and processing: The trees begin to flower in 6 years. Full
bearing is achieved by about 20 years and the production continues for 80
years or more. Bearing between years shows much variation. Clove clusters are
hand picked when the buds reach full size and turn pink but before they open.
They are spread thinly on mats and stirred frequently for uniform drying. Well
dried cloves will snap cleanly with a sharp click across the thumb nail and
weigh about one third of the green weight. On an average, a clove tree yields
3.5 7.0 kg/year which depends upon the age, size and condition of the tree.
Yields upto 80 kg/tree/year have also been recorded.
Various parts of the clove tree yield essential oil on distillation. The
duration of distillation ranges from 8 24 hours depending upon the size of the
still, nature and volume of steam and condition of cloves. Leaves and small
twigs yield clove leaf oil. Clove stem oil is obtained from stems attached to
the buds and flowers, whereas clove bud oil which has the highest quality and
price is obtained from buds. The essential oil yield is 17 19% from clove
buds, 6% from clove stems and 2 3% from clove leaves.
Chemical constituents: Clove bud oil contains mainly eugenol 80 90% and
caryophellene 4 8%.
Uses: It is used as a
table spice, in the preparation of curry powders, to season sausages and
puddings. Clove buds, stems and leaves on steam distillation yield essential
oils which are used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, in flavouring and
in medicine. In medicine, cloves are stimulative, antispasmodic and
carminative. In dentistry, eugenol in combination with zinc oxide is used for
temporary filling of cavities.