Frontier Natural Products - Cardamom Pods Green Whole Certified Organic - 1 lb. (453 g)
Frontier Natural Products Organic Whole Cardamom Pods contain non-irradiated cardamom pods that are freshness dated. To ensure fresh flavor that's always pure and natural, Frontier's spices are quality tested and freshness dated. Dubbed the "Queen of Spices" in India (pepper is King), Elettaria cardamomum is a member of the ginger (Zinziberaceae) family. The name cardamom (sometimes spelled cardamon or cardamum) means "grains of Paradise." Cardamom requires warm weather, abundant rainfall, and patience--it takes four years for a first harvest.
Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton
The timing of harvest is critical to quality and yield. Because a fully ripe pod splits open--allowing the seeds to be lost or exposed to the air--the pods are picked while still green, but just as the seeds are turning dark. Pods ripen at different times on the same plant, further complicating the process.
Once harvested, the pods are dried--in the sun or in a kiln. Kiln-dried cardamom retains its green color while the sun-dried capsules "bleach" in the sun, turning a greenish-tan. (White cardamom pods may also be chemically bleached; these often have a slightly salty, bitter flavor.) The small, angular, hard seeds vary from light to dark reddish brown; these are also sometimes bleached before marketing. It takes over 3,000 cardamom pods (or about 50,000 of the small, hard, angular seeds) to produce just one pound of cardamom. Cardamom is available in the pod, or with the pod removed.
Delicious, aromatic, and therapeutic, cardamom has long been appreciated. Ayurvedic writings from the fourth century B.C. discuss the healing properties of cardamom, and the ancient Greeks and Romans used it in foods and for medicines and perfumes. The Vikings, who discovered it on a trip to India, enjoyed cardamom in festival cakes, and Indian cooks have traditionally used it to liberally season meat and vegetables. First imported to Europe in 1214, it was commonly used in pomanders and thought to have aphrodisiac powers.
Cardamom is available in several forms. The seed-containing capsules are sold as green or bleached pods, and the seed is sold without the pod (decorticated) in whole or ground form.
Prized by Indian, Scandinavian, and Middle Eastern cooks, cardamom has a sweet, warm taste and an exotic floral aroma. Its uses span the culinary spectrum--from beverages and delicate desserts to meats and curries.
Frontier is where you'll find the best in flavorful organic spices, all natural spices and seasonings and fair trade spices. Frontier's dedication to sustainable sourcing and stringent quality standards means you get the highest quality every time.
Frontier's Natural vs. Organic Herbs and Spices
Today, Frontier offers the option of both natural and certified organic herbs and spices. What's the difference?
- Organic: All of Frontier's organic products are USDA certified and are natural. Organic includes how a product is grown and harvested as well as post-harvest processing, treatment and handling.
- Natural: Frontier Natural Products Standard covers post-harvest treatment and processing. Frontier does not purchase any herbs or spices that have been treated with irradiation or chemicals such as ethylene oxide (EtO) and there are a number of other ingredients and processes that are not allowed.
Taste That Makes A Difference.
Frontier sources their spices from growers committed to quality, sustainability and ethical trade. Frontier strives to build partnerships and better the lives of smaller growers in developing countries with fair pricing programs.
You can trust Frontier products to be the freshest, purest and most sustainably produced. Simply put, quality effects taste and efficacy. Frontier Natural Products never produces or markets products that make empty claims or contain questionable ingredients. Once herbs and spices arrive at Frontier, every aspect of their handling is done with quality in mind.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op has implemented very rigorous standards in manufacturing that prevent cross-contamination of allergens. Frontier also strictly adheres to the US Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.
What this means is that stringent processes are in place during product handling, processing and packaging which prevent allergen contamination in products that normally do not contain the big 8 allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans), sulfites as well as sesame seeds which the Canadian food inspection agency considers an allergen. Every product that contains an individual allergen or allergen(s) as part of a product formulation has the allergen(s) identified on the label.
Frontier takes great pride in the quality of the products they produce, and allergen control is one part of their company's overall stringent food safety program.
Frontier began as a two-person operation in 1976 in a cabin along the Cedar River in Eastern Iowa. They have grown steadily for over a quarter of a century to become a major supplier in the booming natural products industry. This outstanding performance throughout the years reflects their close harmony with both industry trends and the values of natural products consumers.
Frontier has demonstrated an aptitude for associating itself with trends that fuel success. The business was originally structured as a cooperative that supplied herbs and spices to its members, all of whom were cooperatives engaged in retailing natural foods or cooperative buying clubs. Being a co-op itself helped propel Frontier into national distribution in rapidly expanding natural foods "co-op movement."
Frontier also embraced many of the positive ideals underlying the popularity of co-ops. The early management envisioned a workplace where employees would enjoy their work, families would come first, the quality of products would be unsurpassed, organics would play a key role in the business and social responsibility would be inseparable from their actions. These values have been sustained-and have contributed significantly to Frontier's success-throughout its entire history.
Initially Frontier acted as a wholesaler, repackaging several hundred varieties of herbs and spices into smaller one- and two-pound bags. Customers then resold these products in bulk to their retail customers, typically at a substantial discount to equivalent consumer-packaged products available in traditional supermarkets. In an effort to meet as many customer requests as possible, Frontier expanded its selection to include many uncommon herbs and spices, building both its supplier contacts and its reputation as a comprehensive source of botanical products.
In 1978 Frontier bought and converted a grocery store building in Fairfax, Iowa, into a 5,200 square foot operations facility.
Subsequent growth resulted in Frontier purchasing a ten-acre parcel of Iowa farmland in 1982 near Norway, Iowa, and constructing a 21,000 square foot facility. Plant expansions in 1984, 1988 and 1993 have increased the facility size to over 85,000 square feet. Frontier now owns an additional 50 acres of land adjacent to the main facility, 22 acres of which is maintained as tallgrass prairie.
During 1988 Frontier introduced a line of packaged spices. This was followed in 1991 with the introduction of a line of gourmet, 100% certified organic whole bean coffees. Subsequent introductions included a line of herbal extracts and the first certified organic beer in the United States.
Not all of these product lines were sustained successes, but all provided greater name recognition and expanded opportunities. The Frontier brand packaged-spice line developed into a significant sales contributor and laid important groundwork for the later establishment of the Simply Organic brand. Another Frontier brand, Frontier Coffee, was a part of the company for ten years. In addition to providing consumers with the highest quality organic coffee, Frontier Coffee funded a wide range of social programs in the poor coffee growing communities. Business loans, a power plant to produce electricity, computer equipment for schools, and a bridge were among the projects. In June of 2001, the coffee business was sold to Green Mountain Coffee.
The most sustained and dramatic success with product expansion has been in the area of aromatherapy. Early in its history, Frontier accommodated its customers by buying bulk quantities of essential oils and rebottling them into one-half ounce glass bottles. This line grew steadily as the concept and practice of aromatherapy became increasingly popular. Frontier responded to this accelerating trend, capitalizing on its early success and bolstering its product line with the 1993 acquisition of Aura Cacia, a leading aromatherapy and natural personal care products company. Aura Cacia products include a full line of aromatherapy items such as essential oils, massage and body oils, mineral baths, and lotions. Frontier has grown the line into the clear aromatherapy market leader in natural health outlets nationwide, adding many innovative new products. A popular line of certified organic products, Aura Cacia Organics, has also been created.
The Simply Organic brand, established in 2001, quickly established the kind of leadership in packaged seasonings as Aura Cacia has in aromatherapy. The line of organic products built on a base of certified organic spices and spice blends with creative seasoning mixes for items like sauces, mixes, and chili-quickly followed by best-selling dip and dressing mixes. Fueled by the exceptional popularity of the new products, Simply Organic became the fastest growing brand in natural seasonings and the leading brand of the explosively growing category of organic seasonings.
Beyond the fact that Frontier has listened attentively to its customers and responded wisely to trends and changes in the natural products industry, they have the advantage of sharing some basic values with the people buying its products.
Early decisions to invest in the equipment and personnel to create a top-notch Quality Assurance laboratory moved Frontier into the position of being the quality leader as well as the sales leader in bulk products and aromatherapy. Frontier's carefully cultivated contacts and well-deserved reputation for quality give them a unique advantage in meeting the growing demand for high-quality products.
And their advantage is even greater in regards to organic products. Frontier led the industry in recognizing the value of organic agriculture and promoting organically grown products. The market for organics continues to grow, and Frontier is the established leader in organic selection and quality.
The recently implemented standards of the National Organic Program created no problems for them, as their own internal organic standards already exceeded those required by the program. Frontier's longstanding leadership in promoting organic agriculture around the world provides them with contacts, visibility and respect that are valuable assets.
Frontier was also a trendsetter in employee relations, building a loyal, efficient workforce from the beginning with sincere communication and respect for employees at all levels of the organization. Innovative programs such as subsidized on-site childcare and meal programs, established over two decades ago, led to national recognition for workplace accomplishments at the same time Frontier was cited as one of the country's fastest-growing companies.
The adherence to the company's ideals regarding customer service, product quality, social and environmental responsibility and employee relations are intrinsic elements in Frontier's impressive success over the years.
Once herbs and spices arrive at Frontier, every aspect of their handling is done with quality in mind:
- Climate controlled storage (70 degrees Fahrenheit and 60% relative humidity) to preserve freshness and chemically active plant constituents.
- They use CO2 fumigation for insect control in herbs and spices, which enables them to avoid the use of chemicals or radiation.
- Strict sanitation rules enforced through regular inspections by Quality Assurance.
- Product handling, processing and packaging systems set up to maximize the quality of the final product.
- Exposure to moisture and heat minimized at all times. Grinding of spices and herbs is done cryogenically at temperatures below -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- They use a sophisticated computerized inventory system that allows any herb or spice, even a minor ingredient in a blend, to be instantly located or traced back to its origin.
Herbs and spices are packaged in materials which ensure the optimum quality of a product -- foil laminate pouches, glass bottles, or plastic bags double-bagged in paper.
- Each of their items is freshness dated with a use-by date that ensures maximum flavor.
Here are some of the other measures Frontier takes to provide you with the best natural products available:
- HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) Testing
- Measures active constituent levels in herbs.
- GC (gas chromatography) and MS (Mass Spectrometry) Testing
- Identifies and quantifies volatile components in essential oils.
- Reveals cellular structure of plants to determine identity and adulteration.
- Microbiological Testing
- Tests levels of yeast, mold and bacterial pathogens.
- Organoleptic Testing
- Taste, smell and sight tests determine quality and screen out adulterated product.
- Aromatherapy Testing
- Frontier performs a variety of tests on their essential oils to ensure purity and quality. In addition to gas chromatography (GC), they utilize tests for specific gravity, optical rotation, refractive index and sensory analysis. Each essential oil has a particular weight, a direction and degree in which light rays bend when passing through the oil, and a speed at which light is refracted. Any deviation from these established standards may indicate adulteration. Frontier also has experts with trained noses to determine quality and to detect inconsistencies. All this adds up to the most extensive aromatherapy testing facility in the U.S.
- No Irradiation
- Frontier does not sell any products or use any ingredients that have been sterilized by irradiation.
- Allergen Control
- Processes are in place to prevent allergen contamination and allergens are identified on labels if present.
Frontier has a tradition of social responsibility in both their own policies and their support of other organizations. They have established an employee-friendly workplace, respected the environment and the grower communities in their operational decisions, and championed organics and sustainable agriculture throughout the world.
Frontier is a proud member of Co-op America, which works with consumers, investors, business owners and workers to promote socially and environmentally responsible change. These programs include support for green business, fair trade and fair labor practices, conservation and responsible investment.
Frontier comprehensively tracks and assesses their sustainability as a business on an ongoing basis. They share this information publicly by issuing a complete sustainability report every two years that details their performance in all aspects of sustainability: sourcing, products, operations, employer and community, compares their metrics to previous and planned ones, and lays out specific goals for future improvements. An interim update is issued in each year between full reports.
With Well Earth We Can Do it Together
The Well Earth program supports suppliers committed to excelling in five critical areas:
- Worker Safety & Fair Treatment
- Sustainable Production Practices
- Environmental Impact
- Social & Community Impact
- Product Safety & Quality
Through this program Frontier ensures the products they offer are the highest quality, and in return they invest in their grower/suppliers and their communities.