II Individual Flavors and Colorants


This part deals with a wide range of natural materials that are already in production and use. In each case, there is a description of the plant (or animal) material, matters relating to extraction, and a little about the chemistry of the active components, and their properties. Identification numbers of major regulatory bodies will help readers to obtain more details. Some relevant references are listed for each item.

It can be seen that some colorants are from microbial and others are from entomological sources. In fact, both of these sources have a very promising future. Biotransformation of molecules by microorganisms and tiny insects is a dynamic tool that produces biologically oriented molecules which have the desired flavor and color that are useful in making foods more appealing and safe.

Ajwain (Bishop's Weed)

Trachyspermum ammi L Sprague (Umbelliferae)


Ajwain (spelled “ajowan” outside the United States) is also known as Bishop’s weed. It is a small caraway-like seed, which belongs to the parsley family and is sometimes mistaken for lovage seeds. It is not clear how it acquired the name Bishop’s weed. It is very important in Ayurvedic therapy as a medicinal product. The name originated from Sanskrit and almost all over the world it has a similar sounding name. In Arabic, it translates as “cumin of the king.” It grows wild in Africa and its Ethiopian name is “azmud.” The plant most likely originated in the eastern Mediterranean, probably in Egypt. Thymol is its principal constituent and therefore its flavor has some resemblance to thyme.

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