44. Cumin

  1. Mathew Attokaran

Published Online: 7 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch44

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

How to Cite

Attokaran, M. (2011) Cumin, in Natural Food Flavors and Colorants, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch44

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



  • cumin, a seed spice - known to Egyptians since 5000 BC, found in ancient pyramids;
  • cumin, looking like caraway - fennel looking similar to cumin, more greenish in color and larger;
  • cumin, originating in Iran and the Mediterranean region - to Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists;
  • essential oil, good quality cumin seeds - crushing and steam distillation, 4–5% essential oil;
  • cumin oil, colorless to pale yellow mobile liquid - tendency to darken on long storage;
  • FCC, and cumin oil - light yellow to brown liquid - with strong and disagreeable odor;
  • oleoresin, coarsely ground powder - fed into stainless steel percolator and extracted using hexane;
  • essential oil and oleoresin - in processed foods, replacing cumin seed;
  • cumin oil, enhancing flavor of chewing gum - and other confectioneries


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Plant Material

  • Chemistry

  • Essential Oil

  • Oleoresin

  • Uses

  • Identification Numbers

  • References