Mustard is a well-known oil seed and an annual crop. It has round stem with long inter-modes, simple, alternate and very soft yellowish green leaves. The fruit is a pod containing seeds. Dry mustard seeds are small, round and darkish-brown or grayish-brown in color. They have no smell, but when pounded and moistured with water, they emit a peculiar strong smell.
Mustard oil is of vegetable origin and is obtained from seeds of the black and white (Sinapis alba) mustard plants. In the crude state, black mustard oil (Brassica nigra, light color) has a spicy odor and a strong taste. When refined it is neutral in odor and taste. White mustard oil (yellow color) has a bitingly pungent taste due to the allyl mustard oil it contains.
India is the fourth largest oilseed producing country in the world, with mustard seed having major percentage of this. Black mustard is a native of Eurasia. It has been in cultivation in, Europe, Belgium, China, India, Japan for a long time. This was the first species to provide table mustard for use as a condiment. It has been used by Romans, Greeks and Indians since ancient times.
Mustard oil is the third largest edible oil produced in the world after Soy oil and Palm oil. At a production level of 13-14 million tons, it accounts for about 12% of the total World's edible oil production. Our ancient holy literatures i.e. VEDS, UPNISHADS, CHARAK SANHITA etc. had emphasized the medicinal values of Mustard Oil apart to their unparallel use in cooking, pickles and massage.
Mustard oil is composed mostly of the fatty acids oleic acid, linoleic acid and erucic acid. At 5%, mustard seed oil has the lowest saturated fat content of the edible oils.
Due to its high content of erucic acid, which is considered noxious, mustard oil is not considered suitable for human consumption in the United States, Canada and the European Union, although mustard oil with a low content of erucic acid is available.
In India, mustard...