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Cuminaldehyde (F-1) is found in cumin oil, anise, clove, parsley, thyme, beef, brandy and grapea. It has a green, herbal and spicy characteristic cumin odor and flavor. It is also described as having a pungent, green-herbaceous odor with notes of animal and vegetable character. Although it’s generally described as unpleasant in high concentration, the odor appears more attractive, warm-spicy, vegetable, condiment-picklelike at concentrations well below 1%. It is directly applied in herbal, spicy flavor modifications as well as caraway, dill, vegetable, cookies and cake flavors.
Cuminum cyminum L., the plant that contains cuminaldehyde, is a flowering plant of the family Apiaceae, which is native from the east Mediterranean to India. The oil (CAS# 8014-13-9) prepared from this plant has a strongly sweet aromatic, spicy odor—a cuminlike characteristic.
In a study of the essential oil of C. cyminum L. seeds, an oil was obtained through steam distillation and the chemical compounds were analyzed by GC/MS. Researchers detected 48 compounds and identified 38 that accounted for 98.53% of the total volatile oil. The most abundant compounds were: cuminaldehyde (39.03% of the total oil), 1-methyl-2-isopropylbenzene (12.85%), 3-caren-10-al (9.15%) and 4-ethyl-3-nonen-5-yne (8.28%).1 The structure similarity of the first three of these ingredients clearly shows the biochemical relation between them (F-2).
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