Products and Uses
Nutmeg is one of two spices obtained from various species of tree of the genus Myristica, the other being mace. Myristica scent, an evergreen tree native to the hill country, is the most important commercial species.
Nutmeg is the tree's seed, generally egg-shaped and around 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dry, whereas mace is the seed's dried "lacy" reddish covering or aril of the seed.
Nutmeg tree yields up to three times in a season. he outer covering or husk of the tree is removed and thrown once it has been harvested. Just beneath the thick husk is the golden-brown aril known as "mace," which tightly encircles the nutmeg kernel. Mace is delicately peeled from the surface of its kernel, flattened into strips, dried, and sold whole (blades) or finely powdered powder. The nutmeg kernel is then sun-dried for several days to weeks. This technique is carried out more quickly in larger commercial setups using a hot drier machine until the entire nutmeg rattles inside the shell. Its shell is then split open, revealing a single shriveled nutmeg kernel. Finally, the nuts are dipped in lime water to prevent insect infestation and seed germination.
Many plant-derived chemical components in nutmeg and mace spice are recognized to have anti-oxidant, disease-preventing, and health-promoting qualities. The spicy nut includes the fixed oil trimyristin as well as various essential volatile oils that give nutmegs their sweet fragrant flavor, such as myristicin, elemicin, eugenol, and safrole.
This spice contains minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
It is also high in many key B-complex vitamins, including as vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin A, as well as flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin.