Title: Cardamom
Literature References: Perennial, ginger-like plant, Elettaria cardamomum L. Maton, Zingiberaceae; seeds and volatile oil have been used since ancient times in cooking and traditional medicine. Numerous cultivars are grown, paticularly the Malabar and Mysore varieties. Plants of Amomum sp. and Afromomum sp. yield seeds of similar flavor, but are considered inferior to true cardamom. Habit: India; cultivated in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Tanzania. Constit: Mature seeds contain volatile oil (6.5-10.5%); crude fiber (6.7-12.8%); protein (8.8-10.5%); starch (38-47%); ash (3.8-6.7%); fixed oil containing glycerides of oleic, stearic, linoleic, palmitic, caprylic and caproic acids. Comprehensive review: V. S. Govindarajan et al., Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 16, 229-326 (1982). Review of medicinal uses: A. Y. Leung, S. Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, (Wiley-Interscience, Hoboken, 2nd Ed., 2003) pp 121-122; J. Gruenwald et al., PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics, Montvale, 3rd Ed., 2004) pp 157-158.
Derivative Type: Volatile oil
CAS Registry Number: 8000-66-6
Additional Names: Oil of cardamom
Literature References: Usually obtained by steam distillation from the ripe seeds. Constit. Complex mixture, mainly a-terpinyl acetate (28-42%); 1,8-cineole (21-41%), linalyl acetate, limonene, linalool. Description: E. Guenther, The Essential Oils vol. V (New York, 1952) pp 85-106. Composition studies: Y. S. Lewis et al., Perfum. Essent. Oil Rec. 57, 623 (1966). Supercritical fluid extraction and analysis: B. Marongiu et al., J. Agric. Food Chem. 52, 6278 (2004).
Properties: Colorless or pale yellow liquid. Warm and spicy flavor with camphoraceous and lemony undertones. d425 0.917-0.947. Angular rotation: +22 to +44°. nD20 1.462-1.466. Sapon. value: 91.6 to 144.7. Acid value: 1.7 to 7.1. Sol in benzyl alcohol, diethyl phthalate, fixed oil, mineral oil, in 5 vols 70% alcohol. Insol in glycerin, propylene glycol. Keep well closed, cool and protected from light.
Optical Rotation: Angular rotation: +22 to +44°
Index of refraction: nD20 1.462-1.466
Density: d425 0.917-0.947
Use: Flavoring in baked goods, confectionery, coffee, tea; component of curry powder and garam masala. Pharmaceutic aid (flavor). Fragrance component of perfumes, soaps, lotions.
Therap-Cat: Carminative.

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