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Nutmeg and mace - Production, uses and chemical structure

nutrition

+ Font mai mare | - Font mai mic



Nutmeg and mace




1       Introduction

Nutmeg and mace are two different parts of the same fruit of the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Myristicaceae). The nutmeg tree is indigenous to the Banda islands in the Moluccas. The species of the genus Myristica are distributed from India and South- East Asia to North Australia and the Pacific Islands. Sinclair (1958) listed a total of 72 species  distributed  in  these  areas.  The  major  nutmeg  growing  areas  are  Indonesia  and Grenada  (West  Indies). It  is also  grown on  a smaller  scale in  Sri Lanka,  India, China, Malaysia, Western Sumatra, Zanzibar, Mauritius and the Solomon Islands.

Nutmeg belongs to a small primitive family Myristicaceae with about 18 genera and

300  species.  Myristica  is  the  most  primitive  genus  of  the  family  (Sinclair,  1958). Warming  (1890)  and  Talbot  (1902)  opined  that  Myristicaceae  is  closely  related  to Lauraceae.  But  there  is  evidence  from  morphological  and  anatomical  studies  that Myristicacea  is  more  closely  related  to  Annonaceae  and  Canellaceae  (Wilson  and Maculans, 1967). At present Myristicaceae is considered as a member of Magnoliales or its taxonomical equivalents (Cronquist, 1981; Dahlgren, 1983).

Nutmeg is a conical tree reaching a height of 4 to 10 metres. The tree is dioecious with male  and  female  flowers  occurring  on  different  trees.  Nutmeg  tree  is  obligatory  cross pollinated and an ant mimicking flower beetle (Formicomum braminus – Anthridae) is an effective  pollinator  in  South  India  (Armstrong  and  Drummond,  1986).  The  fruits  are pendulous,  broadly  pyriform,  yellow,  smooth,  7–10 cm  long,  fleshy  splitting  open  into two halves when ripe, showing the ovoid 2–3 cm long dark brown shining seed with hard seed coat, surrounded by a lanciate red aril attached to the base of the seed. The seed of nutmeg is large with ruminate endosperm and is considered as the most primitive among the flowering plants (Corner, 1976).


2       Production and chemical structure

Nutmeg  and  mace  are  the  two  major  primary  products  of  Myristica  fragrans  and  are commercially considered as spice. Nutmeg is the dried kernel of the seed and mace is the dried aril surrounding the seed. Both the spices have similar flavour. However, nutmeg is reported to be slightly sweeter than mace and is more preferred in food. Besides nutmeg and  mace  a number of other products are  commercially important. Oleoresins, nutmeg butter and essential oils are also derived from M. fragrans and they find varied uses in the food, medicine and perfume industries.

Nutmeg  is  produced  in  the  tropical  areas  of  Indonesia  and  the  West  Indies.  World production of nutmeg is about 12 000 tons per year with an annual world demand of 9 000 tons. Production of mace is about 2 000 tons. Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and export both products with a world market share of 75% and 20% respectively. Other producing countries  include  India,  Malaysia,  Papua  New Guinea, Sri Lanka  and  a few Caribbean Islands.

The  East  Indian  islands  of  Siauw,  Sangihe,  Ternate,  Ambon,  Banda  and  Papua produce  highly  aromatic  nutmeg,  traded  as  East  Indian  nutmeg.  Grenada  produces  the West Indian nutmeg which is milder in flavour and lighter in colour. International trade in nutmeg is either of the East Indian or the West Indian nutmeg, with a negligible quantity of  wild  ‘Bombay’  nutmeg  imported  by  USA.  The  principal  import  markets  are  the European Community, the USA, Japan and India. Singapore and the Netherlands are the major  re-exporters.  USA  is  the  biggest  individual  market  for  whole  nutmegs.  US importers   prefer the East Indian type of deep brown, aromatic nutmeg and orange red mace  in  their  whole  form.  Indonesia  has  traditionally  been  the  principal  supplier  of nutmeg and mace to the US market, accounting for an average 65% of total US imports of nutmeg per year in terms of volume.

2.1       Nutmeg

Fruits  are  harvested  when  they  split  open  on  ripening.  The  split  fruits  are  either plucked from the tree with a hook bill or are collected soon after they drop onto the ground. Nutmeg is dried in large trays by various procedures. The unshelled nutmegs are dried in the sun until the seeds inside rattle on shaking. Normally nutmeg dries in about a week. The seed cover is removed by breaking the hard seed coat mechanically. Nutmeg is usually packed in double layered linen, jute, sisal or polythene bags. If other packing materials are used, care must be taken to avoid materials which might lead to

‘sweating’  and  mould  development.  Packaging  should  be  such  that  the  maximum weight loss is 10%. Spices must be dried thoroughly prior to shipment. They can then be  transported  in  conventional  vessels.  Powdered  nutmeg  is  prepared  by  grinding  at ambient temperature. Since during traditional grinding, most of the volatile oil escapes and  quality  deteriotes,  chill   conditioning  and  cryogenic  grinding  are  alternative methods followed at present (McKee and Harden, 1991). The myristicin fraction of the volatile oil together with elemicin is responsible for the hallucinogenic property of the seed.

2.2       Mace

Mace is detached from the nut carefully soon after harvest, washed, flattened by hand or between boards and then sun dried until they become brittle. Hot air ovens can be used


Table 1    Composition of nutmeg and mace (%)

Composition                    Nutmeg                            Mace

Moisture                          40.00                               40.00

Volatile oil                      11.00                               15.30

Non-volatile ether extract                                       33.60     21.98

Starch                              30.20                               44.05

Sugars

Glucose                          0.10                                 0.17

Fructose                         0.07                                 0.10

Total reducing sugars        0.17                                 0.27

Sucrose                          0.72                                 0.39

Total sugars                   0.89                                 0.65

Protein                              7.16                                 9.91

Crude fibre                      11.70                                 3.93

Total ash                           2.57                                 1.56

Ash insoluble in HCl        0.20                                 0.15

Polyphenols

Total tannins                  2.50                               – True tannins   1.00     –

Source: Gopalakrishnan (1992).

for drying  and  the  colour  retention  is much better  than  sun dried  mace.  Dried mace is graded and packed. The fixed oil content of mace ranges from 20 to 35%. The general composition of nutmeg and mace are given in Table 1.

2.3       Nutmeg oil and mace oil The  essential  oil  from  nutmeg  is  steam  distilled  usually  from  substandard  nutmeg  and nutmeg oil ranges from 5 to 15% of the seed weight. The essential oil is highly sensitive to  light  and  temperature  and  yields  a  colourless,  pale  yellow  or  pale  green  oil  with  a characteristic odour of nutmeg. The oil is soluble in alcohol and insoluble in water. The essential oil of East Indian nutmeg and West Indian nutmeg differ in their flavour and odour  characteristics.  The  East  Indian  nutmeg  oil  is  considered  superior  to  the  West Indian nutmeg oil, having a better aroma and a higher amount of phenyl propanoid ethers

(Masada, 1976) and terpenes (Lewis, 1984). The physico-chemical properties of the two oils are reported to be different (Table 2). East Indian nutmeg oil is also reported to

Table 2    Specifications of British Standards Institutions for nutmeg oil

Specification                           East Indian Oil                West Indian Oil

Colour                                     BS 2999/37:1971            BS 2999/38: 1971

Colourless to yellow       Colourless to pale yellow



Apparent density (mass per ml)

at 20sC                                 0.885 to 0.915                 0.860 to 0.880

Optical rotation at 20sC          8.0s to 25.0s                    25.0s to 45.0s Refractive index at 20sC    1.4750 to 1.4880                                     1.4720 to 1.4760

Solubility in ethanol (90 per cent

(v/v) at 20sC)                      3.0 volumes                     4.0 volumes

Source: Purseglove et al. (1981).


Table 3    Composition of nutmeg oils of different geographical origins (%)

Source           Grenada  St.       Malay     Papua   Indonesia   Penang        Singapore component                     Vincent                      seedlings                                      (1)                    (2)

-pinene        10.6     12.6       12.8       21.3     18.0       19.9     21.2     19.2

Camphene       0.2       0.2         0.2         0.3       0.3         0.3       0.3       0.4

-pinene          7.8     12.1         9.3       14.3       9.7        17.7     12.7     11.0

Sabinene       50.7     49.6       44.1       30.0     27.0       36.3     17.8     15.4

Myrcene          2.5       2.8         2.9         2.4       2.2         2.5       2.6       2.3

-phellandrene            0.4         0.6         0.6       0.5         0.5       0.4       1.0            0.7

-terpinene      0.8       1.9         1.8         1.1       2.0         0.8       4.0       2.5

Limonene        3.1       3.3         3.1         2.7       2.7         2.8       3.6       3.4

1,8-cineole      2.5       2.3         2.1         1.9       1.8         1.5       3.2       2.7

-terpinene      1.9       3.1         2.8         1.9       3.3         1.3       6.8       4.1

p-cymene        3.2       0.7         0.8         0.5       0.7         0.3       1.8       2.7

Terpinolene     1.7       1.2         1.2         1.1       1.1         0.6       2.1       2.6 trans-sabinene            0.8       0.3                       0.5       0.1         0.6         0.2       0.3         0.5 hydrate

Copaene          0.3     *            *              0.2       0.3        *            0.2       0.2

Linalool          0.9       0.4         0.2         1.0       0.3         0.2       0.8       0.9 cis-sabinene    0.7       0.2       0.4                       0.2       0.6         0.2         0.2       0.4 hydrate

cis-p-menth-    0.4       0.1         0.1         0.3       0.5         0.1       0.3       0.3

2-en-ol

Terpinen-4-ol  6.1       3.5         6.0         3.9       7.3         2.0       9.3     10.9

cis-piperitol     0.5       0.4         0.4         0.6       0.4         0.3       0.5       0.3

Safrole            0.2       0.1         0.8         1.5       2.1         0.6       1.9       3.2

Methyl eugenol         0.2                         0.1       0.5         0.2      1.2       0.6              0.6       * Eugenol        0.2       *                       0.3     0.1           0.7         0.3       *            * Elemicin      1.4              1.3       1.7       0.4       0.5                       4.6       0.3                       0.3

Myristicin        0.5       0.8         4.1       10.4     13.5         3.3       6.3     12.4

* Traces detected

Source: Lewis (1984).

have  a  higher  concentration  of  myristicin  (up  to  13.5%),  than  West  Indian  nutmeg  oil

(less than 1%) (Table 3) Mace oil is obtained by steam distillation of dried aril and yields 4 to 17% oil. It is a

clear red or amber dark red liquid with characteristic odour and flavour. Mace oil is more expensive  than  nutmeg  oil.  Leaves  also  yield  oil  (0.34–0.65%),  chemically  similar  to nutmeg oil, but its flavour and odour are inferior to both mace and nutmeg oil.

Extraction of essential oil can be carried out by different methods. However, mace oil extracted  using  liquid  and  dense  carbon  dioxide  was  superior  in  quality  and  flavour compared  with  the  steam  distilled  oil  (Naik  et  al.,  1988).  Essential  oil  has  got  several compounds, most of which are invaluable to industries. Because of its aroma, the essential oil is used as a natural  flavouring extract in cosmetic  industries.  In addition  to its use in cosmetic  industries,  nutmeg  is  also  used  in  the  pharmaceutical  industry.  The  pharma- cological properties of nutmeg are attributed to the compounds found in the essential oil. The first report on nutmeg constituents was by Frederick Power and Henry Salway (Power and Salway, 1907, 1908). Numerous compounds have been isolated from nutmeg and mace. The yield and quality of the oil depends on the geographical location (Table 3), grades and the distillation process involved. The major constituents of both nutmeg and mace oil are monoterpene hydrocarbons, together with smaller amounts of oxygenated monoterpenes and aromatic ethers (Purseglove et al., 1981).


Major constituents of the monoterpene hydrocarbons are pinene and sabinene and the major  aromatic  ether  constituent is myristicin.  Aromatic  ethers,  myristicin,  safrole  and elemicin determine the flavour and medicinal properties to a great extent. A recent GC analysis of the oils of nutmeg and mace showed 33 constituents in nutmeg oil and 51 in mace  oil.  Both  the  oils  are  qualitatively  similar  in  composition,  differing  only  in  their quantity. Nutmeg oil consists of 76.8% monoterpenes, 12.1% oxygenated monoterpenes and  9.8%  phenyl  propanoid  ether  whereas  mace  oil  contains  51.2%  monoterpenes,

30.3%  oxygenated  monoterpenes  and  18.8%  phenyl  propanoid  ethers  (Table  4)

(Mallavarapu  and  Ramesh,  1998),  and  the  composition  varies  with  the  geographical location  (Baldry  et  al.,  1976;  Masada,  1976;  Lawrence,  1981;  Kumar  et  al.,  1985; Gopalakrishnan, 1992). The Indonesian nutmeg contained 2% myristicin compared with

0.13% in M. argentea. No myristicin was reported in M. muelleri. The safrole content, a suspected  carcinogen,  was  0.13,  0.51  and  0.245  in  M.  fragrans,  M.  argentea  and  M. muelleri, respectively (Archer, 1988). The myristicin fraction together with the elemicin is  responsible  for  the  hallucinogenic  properties  of  nutmeg  seed.  The  composition  of essential oil changes on prolonged storage. The structure of some of the compounds are given  in  Fig.  1.

During  storage  and  transportation, oils  should  be protected  from  light  and  stored  in tightly-packed  containers  at  a  temperature   not  exceeding  25sC.  Prolonged  storage deteriorates the composition of the oil.

2.4       Nutmeg oleoresin Nutmeg oleoresin is obtained by solvent extraction of spices. Oleoresins contain saturated volatile  oil,  fatty  oil  and  other  extractives  soluble  in  the  particular  solvent  employed. Nutmeg oleoresins, obtained by solvent  extraction from  the  dried spice  of nutmeg,  are used in colouring and flavouring in the food industry. The spice oleoresin can be used in place of the dried spice. The commercial products exhibit a range in their essential oil and fixed oil content depending on the method of extraction and solvents employed. Nutmeg extracted with benzene yields 31 to 37% of oleoresins and with cold ethanol yields 18 to

26%.  A  higher  fatty  oil  is  obtained  by  hydrocarbon  solvents  while  polar  solvents  like alcohol  and  acetone  yield  low  fatty  oils  and  resins.  Commercial  mace  oleoresins  are available  with  volatile  oil  content  ranging  from  10  to  55%.  When  extracted  with petroleum ether, it yields 27 to 32% and contains 8.5–22% volatile oils, and after chilling the yield reduces to 10–13% (Naves, 1974). Oleoresins extracted with non-polar solvents are preferred in flavouring processed foods since they are more stable to heat, whereas the  perfume  industry  prefers  polar  solvents  since  they  are  soluble  in  most  perfume materials and do not deposit any fatty materials in the bottles or containers (Purseglove et al., 1981).

2.5       Nutmeg butter

The fixed oil of nutmeg is known as nutmeg butter. Nutmeg butter contains 25 to 40% fixed oil, which is obtained by expressing the crushed nuts or by extracting with solvents. Fixed oil is a semi solid, or reddish brown fat with both the aroma and taste of nutmeg. It is completely soluble in hot alcohol and sparingly soluble in cold alcohol. The fixed oil is freely   soluble   in   ether   or   chloroform   and   is   composed   of   trimyristin   (84%), unsaponifiable   constituents   (9.8%),   oleic   acid   (3.5%),   resinous   materials   (2.3%), linolenic  acid  (0.6%) and  formic,  acetate  and cerotic  acids  in traces.  Trimyristicin  is a


Fig. 1    Chemical structures.

triglyceride of myristic acid and is volatile to yellowish grey solid. Reports say that the best  nutmeg  butter  is  imported  from  the  East  Indies.  The  fixed  oils  are  also  used  in perfumes and medicines. In medicines, it is used for external application for sprains and rheumatism.




3       Main uses and functional properties

3.1       Food

Nutmeg,  mace,  their  oleoresins  and  essential  oils  are  used  in  the  food  and  beverage industries.  Although  whole  nutmeg  is  available,  ground  nutmeg  is  more  popular.  The spice in the ground form is mainly used in the food processing industry. In South-East Asia, China and India, both the spices are used sparingly.

Nutmeg is a standard seasoning in many Dutch dishes. Nutmeg and its oleoresin are used  in  the  preparation  of  meat  products,  soups,  sauces,  baked  foods,  confectioneries, puddings,  seasoning  of  meat  and  vegetables,  to  flavour  milk  dishes  and  punches.  The fleshy outer cover of the fruit is crystallized or pickled or made into jellies.

Mace is sold either as whole or as ground spice and is used in savory dishes. Mace is used to flavour milk-based sauces and processed meats like sausages. Soups, pickles and ketchup,  pickles  and  chutneys  are  also seasoned  with  mace.  Because  of  its  aroma,  the essential oil is used as a natural flavouring extract and is employed for flavouring food products and liquors. Nutmeg oil and mace oil are used mainly in flavouring soft drinks, canned foods and meat products.

3.2       Functional properties and toxicity

Both nutmeg and mace are  used in the pharmaceutical industries. Powdered nutmeg is rarely  administered  alone  but  it  enters  into  the  composition  of  numerous  medicines  as aromatic adjuncts. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy is gaining importance. The main  constituents  of  nutmeg  and  mace,  myristicin,  elemicin  and  isoelimicin  when presented in aroma form, act as stress relievers. In Japan, many companies diffuse such aromas through air ventilation systems to improve the work environment as well as the quality of air.

It  is  more  commonly  used  in  Oriental  than  in  Western  medicine.  Medicinally  it  is known  for  its   stimulative  and  carminative   properties.  The  seeds   are   carminative, stomachic, astringent, deodorant, narcotic, aphrodisiac and useful in flatulence, nausea, and  vomiting.  The  antioxidant  properties  of  nutmeg  have  been  discussed  by  various authorities (Madsen and Bertelsen, 1995; Lagouri and Boskou, 1995).

Oil of nutmeg is useful in the treatment  of inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract,  halitosis,  dyspepsia,  flatulence,  impotence,  insomnia  and  skin  diseases.  It  is  also used externally as a stimulant and the ointment as a counterirritant. Essential oil has got several compounds, most of which are valuable in industry. Most of the pharmacological properties of nutmeg are attributed to the compounds found in the essential oil. Mace oil possesses  almost  identical  physiological  and  organoleptic  properties  as  nutmeg  oil. Nutmeg butter is a mild external stimulant used in the form of ointments, hair lotions and plaster, and used against rheumatism, paralysis and sprains.

Both  nutmeg  and  mace  contain  the  active  ingredient  myristicin  which  possesses narcotic  properties.  Nutmeg  butter  contains  elemicin  and  myristicin  which  are  also narcotic and cause psychotropic effects. Ingestion in large quantities produces narcosis, delirium,  drowsiness,  epileptic  convulsions  and  even  death.  It  also  causes  temporary constipation  and  difficulty in  urination  and  increased fat  deposition  in  liver.  Powdered nutmeg  is  used  occasionally  as  a  hallucinogenic  drug,  but  such  use  is  dangerous  as excessive  dose  of  mace  has  a  narcotic  effect  and  symptoms  of  delirium  and  epileptic convulsions appear after 6 hours of consumption.


3.3       Perfume and other uses Nutmeg  oil  is  used  in  cosmetics,  men’s  perfume  and  toiletries  due  to  its  aromatic properties.  Mace  oil  possesses  almost   identical   physico-chemical  and  organoleptic properties as nutmeg oil. Mace oil is also used to a limited extent in perfumes and soaps.

The myristicin component which imparts the hallucinogenic properties is also reported to   be   an   effective   insecticide.   The   lignin   type   of   constituents   in   the   nut   are anticarcinogenic.  Camphene  present  in  the  oil  is  used  in  the  manufacture  of  camphor and related compounds and has strong antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal properties. Pinene  of  the  essential  oil  of  nutmeg  is  used  to  make  camphor,  solvents,  plasticizers, perfume bases and synthetic pine oil. Dipentene is used in the manufacture of resins and is used as wetting  and dispersing agent.  Myristic acid  is used in the preparation  of soaps, liquid detergents, shampoos, shaving creams, perfumes, plastics, in compounding rubber, paints and greases, in the synthesis of esters for flavours and perfumes and as a component of food grade additives. Resorcinols (malabaricone and malabaricone C) isolated from the mace  exhibited  strong  antibacterial  and  antifungal  activities  against  Staphylococcus aureus and Candid (Orabi et al., 1991). Larvicidal properties are also reported in mace, the larvicidal  principle  in  mace  was  identified  as  diarylnonanoid,  malabaricone  C  against second stage larvae of Toxocara canis (Nakamura et al., 1988).

4       Quality issues Nutmeg and mace are classified by origin (East Indian nutmeg and West Indian nutmeg) and  grade.  Good  quality  has  to  be  maintained  for  trade  of  nutmeg  and  mace.  Whole nutmegs are grouped under three broad quality classifications:

   Sound:  Nutmegs  which  are  used  mainly  for  grinding  and  to  a  lesser  extent  for oleoresin extraction.

   Substandard: Nutmegs which are used for grinding, oleoresin extraction and essential oil distillation.

   Distilling: Poor quality nutmegs used for essential oil distillation. In Indonesia, high quality of sound whole nutmeg are traded in grades which refer to their size in numbers of nutmeg per pound: 80s, 110s and 130s or ‘ABCD’ which is an assortment of various sizes. Substandard nutmegs are traded as ‘sound, shrivelle, which in  general  have  a  higher  volatile  content  than  mature  sound  nutmegs  and  are  used  for grinding, oleoresin extraction and oil distillation, and ‘BW (broken, wormy and punky) which  are  used  mainly  for  grinding  as  volatile  oil  generally  does  not  exceed  8%. Distilling  grades  of  nutmeg  are  of  poor  quality:  ‘BIA’  or  ‘ETEZ’  with  a  volatile  oil content of 8% to 10% and BSL or ‘AZWI’ which has less shell material and a volatile oil

content of 12–13%. In  Grenada,  sound  nutmegs  are  sold  as  sound  unassorted  which  corresponds  to  the

Indonesian grade ‘ABCD’. Substandard nutmegs are classified as floats and as defective, the latter is similar to the Indonesian BWP grade but considered of high quality. Distilling grades of nutmegs are primarily exported to the USA and consist of floats.

Mace  is  classified  as  whole  pale  mace,  No.  1  broken  mace,  selected,  unassorted  or siftings (Indonesia) and as whole, broken blades or siftings (Grenada). The International Standards applicable for trade in spices of nutmeg and mace are ISO 6577:1990.

Though national standards are available for maintaining the quality (see Tables 2,

5,  6  and  7),  the  European  traders  prefer  the  ASTA  cleanliness  specifications


Table 5    American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) cleanliness specifications

Product            Insect      Excreta    Excreta    Mould      Insect       Foreign

(by count)                               mammalian  other    (% wt)   infested            matter

(mg/lb)     (% wt)                     (% wt)     (% wt)



Nutmeg (broken)    4       5              1.0           *              *              0.5

Nutmeg (whole)              4              0              0.0           *              *            0.0

Mace                4              3              1.0           2.0           1.0           0.5

* Not more than 5% by weight insect defiled and mould infected.

Source: Sivadasan and Kurup (1999).

Table 6    Defect Action Levels prescribed by US Food and Drug Administration for spices

Mace

Insect filth and/or mould Average of 3% or more pieces by weight are insect infested and/or mouldy

Mammalian excreta         Average of 3 mg or more of mammalian excreta per pound

Nutmeg (whole)

Insect filth and/or mould Average of 10% or more pieces by count are insect infested and/or mouldy

Source: Sivadasan and Kurup (1999).

(Table 5) as they are more strict than the National standards. The Quarantine System and Plant Protection Law and the Food Sanitation Act set the quality standard in Japan. Aflatoxin (The Netherlands, Japan) and salmonella (United Kingdom) are the common complaints on the imports of nutmeg. The presence of insects is a major complaint for US importers.

Adulteration is common in the nutmeg trade. The essential oil has often been extracted before they are marketed and such nuts can be detected by their light weight and are more subjected  to insect attack.  M. fragrans is adulterated with M. argentea, M. malabarica and M. otaba which can be identified by their poor quality. The mace from M. argentea is imported  as  Papuan  nutmeg  from  Papua  New  Guinea,  M.  malabarica  is  traded  as Bombay nutmeg from India and from M. otaba as Otaba nutmeg. Trade of wild nutmeg exists and they are marketed as long, female, Macassar, Papua, Guinea, or Norse nutmeg. All these have been traced to M. argentea of New Guinea from where they enter into the market as Macassar nutmegs. M. malabarica, M. otaba and M. argentea are devoid of any aroma of M. fragrans.

Table 7    Dutch regulations for cleanliness specifications

Product            Ash content     Sand content    Volatile oil       Others

(max. %)         (max. %)          (min. %)

Nutmeg            3.5                   0.5                   4.0                   NVEE * 5.0

Mace                3.5                   0.5                   4.0                   NVEE * 4.0

* NVEE – Non-volatile ether extract

Source: Sivadasan and Kurup (1999).


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