23. Black Cumin

  1. Mathew Attokaran

Published Online: 7 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch23

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

How to Cite

Attokaran, M. (2011) Black Cumin, in Natural Food Flavors and Colorants, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch23

Author Information

  1. Plant Lipids Limited, Cochin, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 FEB 2011
  2. Published Print: 18 MAR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813821108

Online ISBN: 9780470959152



  • black cumin, called black seed, black caraway and fennel flower;
  • Nigella sativa seeds - of ancient Egyptian sites, including Tutankhamen's tomb;
  • Nigella seed, considered a remedy for all diseases - except death;
  • black cumin, believed to have originated in eastern Mediterranean region - cultivated as a weed in India;
  • solvent-extracted fixed oil - a reddish–brown semidrying oil;
  • steam distillation - black cumin, giving a volatile oil with yield of about 1%;
  • oil extract, containing thymoquinone - believed to prevent cancer cell growth;
  • physiologically active components - nigellicine, nigellidine, dithymoquinone, and thymohydroquinone - reported;
  • pungent bitter taste and smell, black cumin and its oil - used in confectionery and liquors;
  • oil and seeds - least used in food flavoring


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Plant Material

  • Essential Oil

  • Uses

  • Identification Numbers

  • References