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American Natural & Organic Spices

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Mortar and Pestle

A mortar and pestle is a tool to crush, grind and mix solid subject including herbs and spices. The mortar is a heavy, bat-shaped object. The pestle is a bowl. The subject to be crushed is placed in the pestle and ground with the mortar. The scientific name for grinding with the mortar and pestle is "trituration."

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note Food Safety Is Our Highest Priority!

American Natural & Organic Spices™ uses the most cutting edge sterilization technology if necessary to protect our organic spices from harmful agents. The most used and recognized industrial processes among others are:

Dry heat: can be used to sterilize organic spices, but as the heat takes much longer to be transferred to the organism, both the time and the temperature must usually be increased, unless forced ventilation of the hot air is used. The standard setting for a hot air oven is for a predetermined period at 160 °C (320 °F). A rapid method heats air to 190 °C (374 °F) for a shorter period of time for unwrapped objects and twice longer for wrapped objects. Dry heat has the advantage that it can be used on powders and other heat-stable items that are adversely affected by steam.

Steam sterilization: This process for sterilization of organic spices is a continuous dry steam sterilization process, which is completely safe and natural. It only uses hot steam to reduce the germ content of the product. Steam sterilization will make the organic spices used in food industry safer for your consumers, while maintaining its high quality.

The mortar and pestle were mentioned in the oldest medical literature (the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus of ~1550 BCE). The Roman poet Juvenal also used mortar and pestle to prepare medicine, which led to the adoption of its use as a pharmacist's or apothecary's symbol. Use of the mortar and pestle is also mentioned in the Old Testament.

Early Mesoamerican peoples including the Aztecs and Mayans used a kind of mortar and pestle called the molcajete, which is made of basalt (rock). The molajete evolved from an earlier grinding slab metate. Native American tribes used mortars carved into the bedrock to grind acorns and other nuts. In Russian literature, Baba Yaga is a witch who flies through the air on a pestle.

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