Cumin – Production and Quality Parameters of finest Herbs

Cumin Herb

Cumin is a strong aromatic dried ripe fruit seed of a small annual herb having a height of 15 to 50 cm. It is indigenous to northern Egypt, the Mediterranean region, Iran and India. The major producers of Cumin in the world today are Iran, Sicily, India and Malta. Other producing countries include the Mediterranean countries, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and China. In Iran it is a main crop grown in the Mashad province. In Northern India it is cultivated in the Himalayas, Punjab, Baluchistan and Kashmir. In other languages Cumin is commonly known as kummel, comino, zireh-e sabz, cumino, kemon, zira and kamun.

Cumin Herb has a long history. It was mentioned in historical texts of Isaiah xxvi 25 and 27, Matthew xxii 23 and works of Hippocrates and Dioscorides. It is also known that Romans consumed Cumin for medicinal purposes. Since 13th and 14th centuries it had started to be used in food preparations.

Production of Cumin

Bulk Herbs

Cumin Seed: Cumin is grown both as a cold season and summer season crop. In cold season it is cultivated on the plains and in hot season it is cultivated on the hills. In early April the seeds are sown in warm bed of small pots, containing light soil. Plants start to bloom in the months of June and July, after which ripe fruits are harvested. Fresh seeds are dried on cloth and stored in cotton bags.

Cumin Oil: Cumin oil is pale yellow liquid with a strong odor. To produce essential Cumin oil the process of Hydro distillation can be used on both whole seeds and coarsely grounded seeds. The oil yield is 2.5 to 4.5%. Volatile Cumin oil is stored in well sealed bottles or aluminium containers.

Quality Parameters for Cumin

Cumin Oil

Quality Specifications for Cumin Whole Seeds are:

1. Seed moisture: less than 6%
2. Total ash: 7%
3. Acid insoluble ash: 1.5%
4. Volatile oil: minimum 2%
5. Foreign organic matter: 2% (US maximum for harmless foreign matter: 5%)

Quality Specifications for Cumin Oil are:

1. Colorless or pale yellow
2. Specific gravity (25/25 degree Celsius), 0.905 to 0.925
3. Optical rotation (20 degree Celsius), + 3 to + 8
4. Refractive index, 1.501 to 1.506
5. Solubility (80% ethanol), 8 vol
6. Aldehydes (as cuminic aldehyde) 40 to 52%.

Uses of Cumin

In Cooking Food: Cumin is regularly used in food processing because of its strong aromatic smell and warm, bitter taste. It is used extensively in preparing foods such as :

1. Many eastern dishes it is used as a condiment and flavoring herb.
2. Lemon based marinades.
3. Chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork.
4. Added to chilli, curries or spicy meat stews.
5. Added to olive oil when stir-frying vegetables.
6. Various pickles in Iran, Pakistan and India.
7. It is also used as a common flavor in confectionery, meat, sausage and bread manufacturing.
8. As a preservative in food processing.
9. In Biblical times it was used for flavoring bread and other dishes in ceremonial fasting.

Functional properties: Cumin is used as:

1. A Stimulant, antispasmodic and antimicrobial agent.
2. A Carminative especially in veterinary practice.
3. An Essential ingredient in traditional medicine to treat flatulence, digestive disorders and diarrhoea.
4. An Essential ingredient in traditional medicine for the treatment of wounds.

Chemical structure of Cumin

Cumin consists of:

1. Volatile Oil (2 to 4.5%),
2. Fixed Oil (10%),
3. Tannins,
4. Oleoresin,
5. Mucilage,
6. Gum,
7. Protein compounds and
8. Malates.

The characteristic flavor and odor of Cumin is due to the presence of:

1. Cuminic aldehyde or cuminol,
2. p-menth-3-en-7-ol and
3. pmentha 1,3-dien-7-ol

Cumin Herb Wholesalers – Bulk Herbs

Herb Wholesalers

GFN Food Sales are herb wholesalers. We deal in bulk herbs trading of Cumin. For sales and further assistance regarding Cumin, please call us at 323-203-1633 or email us at Our sales team will assist you in every possible way.

Cumin – Production and Quality Parameters of finest Herbs
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