Caraway : Chemical Constituents, Uses, Synonyms and Substitutes

Source, Morphology and Distribution of Caraway:

Caraway consists of the dried ripe fruits of Carm carvi, belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It is also known as carum and caraway seed.

Caraway is indigenous to Central Europe and Holland, where as its cultivation is carried out in Central Asia, Europe and India in North Himalayan region, Kashmir, Kumaon, Garhwal and Chamba at an altitude of 3000 to 4000 metres. Jira are yellowish brown in colour with aromatic odour and taste.

Close-up picture of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum).

Close-up picture of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chemical constituents of Caraway:

Caraway consists of volatile oil, fixed oil, resin and proteins. The constituents of the volatile oil are carvone, limonene, dihydrocarvone and traces of carvacrol.

Uses of Caraway:

  • Aromatic
  • Carminative
  • Stimulant
  • Used as a spice for culinary purposes
  • Used as flavouring agent for bread, biscuits, cheese and cakes

Substitutes for caraway:

As the caraway are costly, they are substituted by Indian dill fruits. Cuminum cyminum, is known as jeera in the market, is another substitute. The chief constituent is cuminic aldehyde and carvone is not present. These fruits are stored in cool place in well closed containers.

Synonyms of Caraway:

  • Bengali – Jira
  • Gujrati – Shshjiru
  • Hindi – Shia jira
  • Kannada – Jiriggae
  • Malayalam – Shahjiira
  • Marathi – Shahjira
  • Sanskrit – Seeshavi
  • Tamil – Shimai-shembu
  • Telugu – Shimaisapu
  • Punjabi – Zira siah
  • German – Echter kummel
  • Italian – Comino tedesco
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