Tamarind fruit or Tamarindus indica is the best heart-friendly food popular among many people. So, Tamarind is a member of any kitchen. Not only Tamarind fruit but seeds and leaves are also edible.
So do you experience the delicious taste of products that are made with Tamarind? Tamarind is used in marinades, sauces, chutneys, desserts, and drinks. Tamarind pulp is popular for cooking in many countries like South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
You know unripe tamarind pulp is green. But if you make a pulp from ripened tamarind fruit, it is light brownish-red in color. However, in storage, as time goes on, the brown tamarind pulp starts to turn slowly to deep brown and finally to black color. Whether you are a Tamarind lover or not, you may have experienced this color changing of the Tamarind. But why does Tamarind turn black over time?
Generally, tamarind fruit pulp includes several phenolic compounds. Most of these compounds are proantho cyanidins. Not only that, you can find ascorbic acid and tartaric acid in tamarind pulp because it has high amounts of these compounds.
All of these compounds mentioned above are easily oxidized. That is why these compounds act as antioxidants which protect cell components from oxygen radicals. Consequently, the oxidation process of phenolic compounds leads to the darkening or turning back of the tamarind pulp. So, did you get the reason?
Not only Tamarind, but due to this reason, many other fruits and vegetables turn darker when exposed to the air.
In addition to that, this darkening happens due to exposure to air. Also, aging may occur when preparing the wine, ketchup, and mustards. The speed of this darkening process is based on the chemical composition of phenolic compounds in the fruit or ingredient. Plus, the oxidative compounds that consist in the fruit also speed up the process. However, tamarind darkening with age, oxidation primarily occurs as a non-enzymatic chemical reaction.
HOW CAN YOU KEEP TAMARIND FROM TURNING BLACK?
Now you know, mainly Tamarind turns darker or black primarily due to oxidation. So, how do you prevent or slow the darkening of Tamarind? The next question is this.
So, here I suggest a solution to keep Tamarind from turning black by avoiding exposure to air because it will limit or avoid oxidation. But how does it happen?
As a general rule, for every 10(+0)C reduction in temperature, there is a 50 percent reduction in the rate of the chemical reaction. Because of that, the most suitable option to keep Tamarind from turning black is refrigerated Tamarind. Because refrigeration supports the reduction in the rate of oxidation significantly. Consequently, it will cause to avoid the darkening of or turning black the tamarind pulp.
Additionally, most enzymes require optimum temperature, so it will automatically reduce the enzyme-mediated oxidation when you refrigerate Tamarind.
Generally, you can keep Tamarind long time without any big issues by refrigerating. For instance, you keep using Tamarind for around 3 months in the refrigerator, but it should be stored in an airtight container or resealable food-safe bag.
Further, it is a must to press on the bag to remove as much air as possible from the bag before you seal it. Also, do not forget to put just enough tamarind fruits into the bag because it will allow sealing the bag well.
Here the main target is to keep your Tamarind away from moisture which causes spoilage.
Does blackness or darkness indicate that Tamarind is bad?
Actually, the answer is no. Because as I mentioned above, Tamarind turns black or dark mainly due to oxidation. But some peoples misunderstand that Tamarind turns black when they are bad. But it is not completely true.
Here I think it is better to know how you know when Tamarind is bad. Because then you can indicate whether your Tamarind has gone bad or is still fresh. Here are mainly two indications that help to identify bad Tamarind. Let’s check it.
This is the main indication that helps to identify spoiled Tamarind. Generally, fresh Tamarind has a soft texture. You can feel the softness when it is touched. But when it starts to go bad, the texture of the flesh becomes gradually hard.
You know when anything starts to spoil, its taste definitely changes. So, you can use your tongue to feel the difference between fresh and spoiled Tamarind.
In addition to that, you can experience an off odor and appear mold appearance.