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Home > Types of Spices > Seeds > Celery Seed
Celery Seed
Celery SeedBotanical Name: Apium graveolens Linn
Family: Umbelliferae

Indian names are as follows:

Hindi: Shalari, Ajmud
Bengali: Bandhuri, Chanu
Marathi: Ajmoda
Sanskrit: Ajamoda
Tamil: Ajmada.

Celery seed is the dried ripe fruit of the umbelliferous herb, usually 60 to 180 cm high, erect, with conspicuously jointed stems bearing well-developed leaves on long expanded petioles. The rigid fruit is small, 1 to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm in diameter, contains a small seed, united or separated, pericarp-some with stalk ends, brown in color and somewhat bitter in taste. The pericarp is intercepted with oil ducts. It is widely used as a spice.

Average composition of the seed is as follows:

Moisture:5.1 %
Protein:18.1 %
Fat (ether extract): 22.8 %
Crude fiber: 2.9 %
Carbohydrates:40.9 %
Total ash:10.2 %
Calcium:1.8 %
Phosphorus: 0.55 %
Iron:0.45 %
Sodium:0.17 %
Potassium:1.4 %
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.42 mg/100g
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.49 mg/100g
Niacin:4.4 mg/100g
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid):17.2 mg/100g
Vitamin A:650 I.U
Calorific value:450 calories/100g

The composition of seeds however varies considerably depending on various factors like region, agro climatic conditions, soil and so on. Average essential oil yield of the seed is 2.4 %. Fresh celery leaves and stalk have the typical composition given below respectively

Celery LeavesMoisture:81.3,93.5 %
Protein:6.0,0.8 %
Fat:0.6,0.1 %
Fiber:1.4,1.2 %
Carbohydrates: 8.6,3.5 %
Mineral matter: 2.1,0.9 %
Calcium:0.23,0.3 %
Phosphorus:0.14,0.4 %
Iron:0.06,0.05 %
Vitamin A: 5800,7500 I.U
Vitamin B1:traces
Vitamin C:62,6 mg/100g
Calorific value:64,18 calories per 100g.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that leaves are more nutritious than stalk, particularly from the viewpoint of protein, vitamins A and C.

The celery seed is available as whole or ground. The celery fruit (or seed) yield2 to 3 %of a pale yellow volatile oil with a persistent odor. In trade, this is known as celery seed oil and is much valued both as a fixative and as an ingredient of novel perfume. The principal constituents are - d-limonene (60 %), d-selinene (10 %), sedanonic acid anhydride (0.5 %) and sedanolide (2.5 to 3 %). The last two are responsible for aroma of the oil.

Green leaves yield 0.1 % volatile oil, but it has no commercial importance. Celery Chaff oil has a somewhat harsher and coarser odor than that of celery seed oil. It has less demand and value than the seed oil.

Oleoresin of celery seed is prepared by extracting the crushed dried celery seeds with suitable volatile solvents, filtration and desolventisation under vacuum. The oleoresin not only possesses the volatile top note of the essential oil, but also the `body` i.e. the fixed or non-volatile extractive matter of the celery used. Oleoresin could rightly be considered as `liquid celery seed`, which is easier to handle in the preparation of tinctures and extracts.

The dried ripe fruits (celery seeds) are used as spice. Leaves and stalks are used as salads in soups and as a pre-dinner appetizer.

They are stimulant and tonic, used in asthma and for liver diseases. Essential oil contracts gravid and virginal uterus. As a domestic medicine, seeds are used as nervine sedative and tonic. A domestic remedy for rheumatism is a 1-in-20 decoction. Celery seeds are main ingredient of celery tonics.

The fruits also yield 17 % of fatty oil, `oil of celery`. This is used as an anti-spasmodic and nerve stimulant. It has been successfully employed in rheumatoid arthritis and probably acts as an intestinal antiseptic. The root is considered alternative and diuretic and is given in anasarca and colic.

The commercial use of celery seed oil is as a fixative, as an important ingredient in perfumes, in medicine and in flavoring of different types of foods, such as meats, sausages, canned soups, sauces, celery tonics and medicinal preparations.
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