Food and Drink

Things to Lookout for When Buying Wholesale Spices

Buying herbs, spices, and seasoning mixes is the most convenient way to ensure your restaurant and eatery business offers vibrant and authentic delicacies. Quality spices and herbs allow chefs to create dishes that are full of flavours. However, quality is essential here. And therefore, whether you buy bulk spices online or from brick-and-mortar stores, quality is your uncompromisable standard.

However, when you buy things online, you can’t have a complete guarantee that the product will be what its description describes. So, here’s what you should look out for when buying wholesale spices to get the best recipe ingredients.

Consider quality over quantity

This is the most important consideration a food business should take. In this industry, quality should always be at top priority over quantity in every case. Unfortunately, in the spice market, there is an abundance of suppliers that adulterate their products to gain more revenue through ingenuine.

Customers unknown to this tend to use more herbs, spices, and seasoning to achieve the desired flavour. And in the long term, this means they will be using a lot of spices, which creates more demand, and they have to buy more produce, profiting spice businesses.

Quality also affects your cuisine flavour and, eventually, your brand value. So to ensure the quality, your supplier should provide you with the following essential services:

  • Comprehensive quality control and food check programs
  • Proven track record of providing quality products with 100% customer satisfaction
  • Meeting regulatory requirements and quality standards in a consistent manner
  • Offer traceability of the spices’ origin

How to find out the bad quality

Adulteration is a more common practice in wholesale because the bulk amount makes it easier for suppliers without customers noticing it. Fortunately, there are some methods through which you can distinguish the bad quality and good quality products. First of all, when it comes to spices, the smell is the best indicator. Freshly packaged food will smell strong, and its characteristic smell will permeate your room as soon as you open the package.

Wholesale spices that are 100% genuine should be too strong, and a small amount should be enough to zing up your food. Moreover, you can also check for their quality by their taste. For example, crunching a peppercorn between your teeth will give you an idea of its quality and authenticity.

Adulterated spices do not taste as brilliant and potent as pure ones. You can easily identify the difference in taste, hotness, aroma, and even the proportion you must use to achieve the desired flavour. In addition, wholesale spices are more prone to adulteration as their bulk amount allows suppliers to dilute the quality generously, so it is imperative to perform a quality check with a sample before you order a large amount.

Cheap is not always good

After almost one year of total shutdown and two years of strict restrictions, catering businesses are slowly opening again. At this point, it might be tempting for you to buy cheap spices, herbs, and seasonings to save a few bucks and cover the loss your business had in the pandemic.

However, beware of doing this, and do not fall for too good to be true prices. Quality herbs and spices are hard to earn, grow and highly demanded. So it is unlikely that someone’s selling them at unbelievably lower rates. And hence, there is a high chance that you are getting an adulterated version at cheaper rates.

Even if the spices are not adulterated, and your lab tests them for their genuinity, you could receive low-quality spices, which are meaningless to use in your food. They will be low in volatile oils and flavour, and you will need to use more to give your dish a proper taste, resulting in more use and demand.

Origination of spices

The key to quality and flavourful spices is to source them from the right place. Every spice needs a particular climate, which is impossible in every region. For example, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and other warm spices need a warm tropical climate, such as the Indian subcontinent, to cultivate.

So, if you want to get these spices, choose only genuine Indian spices exporters or suppliers who choose to procure the spices directly from India. Considering the origination of spices before you buy them from a particular supplier could save you from getting low-quality spices.

Similarly, different regions grow different spices. As a business owner, you want to receive the most flavourful spices to make your dishes delicious and please your customers, so they turn to your business again. Hence, research and try to find the origin of your supplier’s spices and herbs.

Safety of herbs and spices

The safety of herbs and spices is paramount for food businesses and suppliers. By following strict food safety standards, food businesses can achieve exceptional quality and safety for their customers while keeping their recall risk at a minimum.

Food businesses can do this by tracking the ingredients they put into their menu items. By doing this, they can trace the footprint of the ingredient to ensure proper food safety management. Adulteration sometimes degrades the quality and might make food unsafe to some extent.

However, unsafe agricultural practices can also make crops harmful to our health. Therefore, consider buying products from suppliers who believe in safe farming and always get products from only those farmers who do not use pesticides or chemical-based fertilisers. 

Reliability of the supplier

Last on the list but not at all, the least important consideration is checking the reliability of your supplier. On the ground level, food businesses should ask themselves: will this company be around when I need them? Restaurants and eateries rely on the spices that customers can count on. So, suppliers behind these spice should be reliable.

Does this supplier have roots in the communities where these ingredients grow? Do they adhere to sustainable standards to make their product available year and again? By asking such questions to your wholesale spice supplier, you can be sure that they are trustworthy, and you can do business with them without any worry.

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