Section VII - Utilization of products

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The large quantity and variety of aromatic compounds in the kernel and aril of the nutmeg fruit, compounds essential in the defense mechanism of the plant, have led to the historic and continued use of nutmeg and mace as spices. Thus they are widely used for their flavouring characteristics in the Food industry. Products of nutmeg and mace in the form of oleoresins, butter and essential oil also find application in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Table 11 lists the product form used and the most important uses of the various forms of nutmeg.

Table 12 lists the product form used and the most important uses of the various forms of mace.

In Grenada both nutmeg and mace are utilized as spices especially in baking products, dairy products and alcoholic beverages. In the distinctive tasting Grenadian rum punch, nutmeg is obligatory and local nutmeg ice cream is unmistakedly tasty. Mace is particularly used for seasoning sea foods. Ground nutmeg mixed with "soft candle" or petroleum jelly is warmed and use as a balm. Similarly the oil diluted is used to massage sore muscles and aching joints. A highly underutilized by-product of the nutmeg industry is the ripe open pods of the fruit. Locally the pods are utilized and processed into jams, jellies, syrups, preserved in syrup, "cheese" and candied pods. The cracked shells are utilized as fuel, for spreading on walks or the floor of nurseries or green houses and as mulch in the field. In the far east it has been mentioned that the pods are cooked as a sweet meat; sliced, salted and cooked in rice dishes. The residue left after the extraction of fixed oil, is mixed with chopped pods, wrapped with a layer of earth and then covered up with banana leaves and on this mixture the edible mushroom Soletus moschocarganus is cultivated.

Almost worldwide man has been using nutmeg and mace for a range of ethnomedical reasons. Weil (1965) concluded that the seeds and arils of M. fragrans have powerful narcotic properties. Green (1959), Smith (1902) and Alexander (1887) have all written on poisoning to humans who ingested a reasonable quantity of nutmeg. Table 13 lists a range of ethomedical uses from various countries.


Product Form used: WHOLE
  OIL (essential)
Whole, Ground: Domestic culinary use
Ground: Industrial use for flavouring
  Meat products, sausages, frank furlers, boloyna, soups, prepared sauces, ketchup.
  Dairy products: egg nog, ice cream, milk pudding
  Alcoholic Beverages: Rum punch
  Baking Products: Cakes, cookies or sulfide rich foods, cabbage etc.
Oleoresins: Extracted with non-polar solvent (Flavouring processed Foods)
  Extracted with polar solvent "Absolute of Nutmeg" - alcoholic extract used in old fashion oriental perfumes
Butter: Pharmaceutical purposes: ointments, shampoos, hand lotion, soaps, plasters, candles, fatty acid derivatives
Oil (essential): Cosmetic industry: perfumes, male fragrances, after-shave lotions
  Food and Drink Industry- Meats, syrup, candies,
  Liqueur, coco-cola.
  Pharmaceutical Industry - vicks rub, cough syrups, breathing tissues, herbal balms, dental creams.
  Most importers distill their own essential oil for the cosmetics industry.


Product Form used: WHOLE
  GROUND (keeps better than ground nutmeg because of negligible fixed oil)
  OIL (Essential)
Whole and Ground: Domestic culinary use
Ground: Industrial culinary use as flavouring: sweet foods, cakes, doughnuts, fruit pies
  Dairy products: egg nog, milk pudding.
  Chewed to mask foul breath
Oil (Essential): Special extract used in perfumes, scented soaps, denture and chewing gum.
Oleoresins: Flavouring processed foods and baking products.


APHRODISIAC Mace Trinidad Simpson (1962)
ANTIPYRETIC Mace Thailand Mokkhasmit et al., (1971)
ABORTIFACIENT Entire plant India Saha et al., (1961)
STIMULANT Seed U.S.A Novitch&Schweiker(1982)
APHRODISIAC NARCOTIC Seed Africa Garbari (1913)
PROPERTIES Seed India Power & Salway (1908)
CARMINATIVE Seed India Arseculeratne (1985)
DIGESTIVE Seed India Power & Salway (1908)
EXPECTORANT Seed India Arseculeratne (1985)

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