Nutmeg Tree Pictures, Detailed Information on Nutmeg Trees
Welcome to our nutmeg tree pictures page. On this page you will find lots of nice pictures of nutmeg trees. You will also find a lot of wonderful information on nutmeg trees, including information about the nutmeg tree species, planting information, and much more. This is valuable and useful information that can help you to learn more about the nutmeg tree.
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Here is some general information on nutmeg trees.
The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia, or Spice Islands. The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace.
Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or aril of the seed. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7 to 9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after 20 years. Nutmeg is usually used in powdered form. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices.
Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter.
The outer surface of the nutmeg bruises very easily.
The common or fragrant nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia, is also grown in Penang Island in Malaysia and the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. It also grows in Kerala, a state in southern India.
Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Nutmeg is always used in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh.
Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes in all countries where it is available.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg, and is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. This volatile fraction typically contains 60-80% d-camphene by weight, as well as quantities of d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin.
The oil is colourless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems. Nutmeg has been known to poison some small animals for over consumption.
Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi-solid, reddish brown in colour, and tastes and smells of nutmeg. Approximately 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin, which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14 carbon fatty acid, which can be used as a replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.
World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes (9,800 and 12,000 long tons) per year, with annual world demand estimated at 9,000 tonnes (8,900 long tons); production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes (1,500 to 2,000 long tons). Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products, with world market shares of 75% and 20% respectively.
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