Processing Technology of Herbs and Spices

NAME OF THE COURSE Processing Technology of Herbs and Spices



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Igor Jerković
Prof Višnja Katalinić

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will know and understand the most important techniques in the processing of medicinal herbs and spices. They will acquire basic knowledge of plant families and species that are commonly used in the food industry and the main methods of preparing herbal preparations (teas and tea blends, spice powders, herbal extracts, concentrates).

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After passing the exam students will be able to:
- describe basic terms, types of species and medicinal herbs, preparation of extracts and their useful application
- demonstrate basic procedures of processing species and medicinal plants and extraction methods
- determine appropriate analysis methods of the obtained extracts or plant materials and methods of determination of antioxidant and antibacterial properties
- suggest appropriate procedures of processing of species and medicinal plants considering basic postulates of extraction, analysis of extracts considering artefacts formation and impact to composition and properties of the product
- select appropriate approach in solving the problems in the area of processing of species and medicinal herbs, starting from knowledge from chemistry, technology and biotechnology

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: Introduction, history and use of medicinal herbs; Definition of medicinal herbs and aromatic plants
2nd week: taxonomy, nomenclature and classification; Distribution in Croatia and abroad; wild and cultivated plants; potential of the Mediterranean climate.
3rd and 4th week: Selected species of medicinal plants and herbs and their importance in the food industry, representatives of some major plant families (legumes, daisies, cloves, roses, anemones, lilies, wheat or grass, meadow grass).
5th and 6th week: Production steps: Select and Collection/Harvesting (seeds, leaves, roots), Transportation, Quality of raw material (the determination of pesticides, mycotoxins, microbiological...);
7th week: Mulching; Drying (chamber and tunnel dryers, microwave drying, spray freeze and reverse osmosis), cleaning, packaging and labeling products; Preservation.
8th week: I. colloquium
9th week: Herbal preparations (liquid and dry extracts), liquid extract (the degree of fragmentation, extraction tool, extraction);
10th week: First group of extraction methods (maceration, bimaceration, digestion, infusion, decoction, turboextraction, ultrasonic extraction);
11th week: Second group of methods of extraction (percolation, repercolation, diacolation, evacolation).
12th and 13th week: Active and effective substances, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of biologically active compounds from herbs and aromatic plants, analysis of plant material; Factors affecting the quality of active ingredients.
14th week: The most important products, teas and tea blends, spice powders, spice extracts and concentrates, legal restrictions.
15th week: II. colloquium
The quality analysis of raw materials and finished products; Herbal preparations using different extraction procedures, testing the influence of extraction parameters on the composition and properties of herbal preparations (degree of fragmentation of plant material, extraction solvent, duration, temperature, stirring, ultrasound); Determination of major components in herbal preparations by spectrophotometric and chromatographic methods, testing the biological activity of herbal preparations (antioxidant and/or antimicrobial properties); Application of herbal products in the selected food products.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Students are required to attend classes (lectures and seminars 80%, laboratory practice and field work 100%) and actively participate in the teaching process. This will be recorded and evaluated in making a final assessment.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

The course content is divided into two units that students take over partial exams or joining final exam. The exam is considered passed if students achieve at least 60% (60-70% successful (2), 70-80% good (3), 80-90% very good (4), 90-100% excellent (5))
The final grade is based on the evaluation of:
Presence and activities on lectures and seminars: 5%
Laboratory exercises: 10%
First partial exam: 43%
Second partial exam: 42%

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

S.S. Handa, S.P.S. Khanuja, G. Longo, D.D. Rakesh, Extraction Technologies for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. International Centre for Science and High Technology, Trieste, 2008


I. Jerković, Kemija aroma, Kemijsko-tehnološki fakultet u Splitu, 2011.



K. V. Peter, Handbook of Herbs and Spices, Volumen 2, CRC Press, 2006.



K.T. Galle, Hrvatsko ljekovito bilje, Mozaik knjiga, Zagreb, 2001.



M. Maffei, Dietary Supplements of Plant Origin: A Nutrition and Health Approach, Taylor & Francis, London, UK, 2003.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

Herbs, spices and essential oils: Post-harvest operations in developing countries, UNIDO and FAO 2005.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality of the teaching and learning, monitored at the level of the (1) teachers, accepting suggestions of students and colleagues, and (2) faculty, conducting surveys of students on teaching quality.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)