Friday, November 15, 2019

Fennel seeds nutrient content and oil extraction

Foeniculum vulgare Mill. is widely used in pharmacology as well as in food-industry. Its main active material is the essential oil. The entire plant is valuable in the medicinal industry; its enlarged base is used as a vegetable; its leaves are used for culinary purposes and its seeds as a spice and for essential oil extraction.

The fruits, commonly referred to as seeds, are ridged, aromatic and oblong or ellipsoid shaped. The dried fruits and aerial parts have widely been used since ancient times in culinary and traditional folk medicines in many cultures around the world. It was well-known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese.

The fennel plant originated in the southern Mediterranean region and through naturalization and cultivation it grows wild throughout the Northern, Eastern, and Western hemi-spheres, specifically in Asia, North America, and Europe. It is cultivated in fields and also grows wild.

Fennel fruits contain carbohydrates, alkaloids, phytosterols, phenols, tannins and flavonoids. Every 100 g edible portion of fennel seeds contain on average: 8.8 g water; 15.8 g protein; 14.9 g fat; 36.6 g carbohydrate; 15.7 g fibre; and 8.2 g ash (containing 1.2 g Ca, 19 mg Fe, 1.7 g K, 385 mg Mg, 88 mg Na, 487 mg P and 28 mg Zn). Every 100 g contains: vitamin A (135 IU); niacin (6 mg); thiamine (0.41 mg); and riboflavin (0.35 mg); with an energy value of about 1440 kJ.

The principal constituents of the essential oil extracted are anethole (50–60 %) and fenchone (15–20 %) (Fig. 14.1). The essential oil extracted is mainly composed of (E)-anethole, (Z)-anethole and α-thujone.

Pharmacologically, the fruits possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, Gastro protective, estrogenic, Hepatoprotective and antithrombotic activities.
Fennel seeds nutrient content and oil extraction

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