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Myristica fragrans Nutmeg, Mace  Myristicaceae
: Nutmeg requires warm humid conditions with an annual rainfall of 1500 to 2500mm and temperature of 25 330C. It grows well from sea level to an elevation of 1300m. Extreme dry climate as well as water logging are injurious to the crop. For the cultivation of nutmeg, river banks and hill valleys with sandy loam and red laterite soils are ideal. Partial shade appears to be beneficial in early growth stages.
Seeds and sowing: Nutmeg is normally propagated by seeds. The seeds soon lose their viability and should be sown immediately. Large seeds of uniform size, round shape, light brown color with thick mace and low terpene content are selected for sowing. Germination takes 4 6 weeks. The sprouted seeds are transplanted into polythene bags which can be planted in the main field after 6 12 months. Seedling progeny will give about 50% of each sex, which is very difficult to distinguish until the trees flower 4 6 years after planting. Cut off the surplus males at this stage, leaving one male to 10 females. Budding and grafting is followed to ensure female progeny. Nutmeg seedlings are planted in the main field in pits of 90 cm cube dug at 8 m spacing.
Manu ring: Apply cattle manure at 10 kg/pit and gradually increased to 50 kg/tree for 15 years old tree. Likewise, fertilizers at 20:18:50g N, P2O5 and K2O/tree in the first year is increased to 500:250:1000g in the fifteenth year.
After cultivation: Regular weeding and irrigation are required for good growth, early bearing and higher yield.
Plant protection: The hard scale (Saissetia nigra) infesting the shoots can be controlled by spot spraying with quinalphos at 0.05%. Shot hole caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, leaf blight and fruit rot by Botryodiplodia theobromae, leaf spot by Alternaria citri, sooty mould caused by Phragmocapinus betle and horse hair blight are the common diseases of nutmeg, which can be controlled by spraying 1% Bordeaux mixture repeatedly.

Country of Origin: Indonesia
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
Trees come to full bearing between 15 and 20 years and continue for more than 40 years or more. Fruits ripen about 6 months after flowering. Fruits are available throughout the year but the peak period of harvest is from December to May. Fruit split open when fully ripe which are collected and dehusked. The aril is removed, flattened out and dried slowly in sun for 10 15 days. The nuts are dried for 4 8 weeks till the kernel rattles within the shell. A tree produces 1500 2000 or more fruits/year. Yields per hectare may vary from 1000 1500 kg of nutmegs and 200 250 kg of mace per annum. Mace to nutmeg ratio is about 7:200 on weight basis.
Essential oil is extracted from the seed, mace, leaves and also the bark, by steam distillation. For oil distillation, the economically viable and accepted materials are the rejections from spice trade. The oil yield ranges from 6 to 16% in nutmeg, 4 to 15% in mace, 0.14% in bark and 0.4 to 0.6% in leaves.
Chemical constituents: The seed essential oil contains 80% pinene and camphene, 4% myristicin which is poisonous, dipentene, p cymene, d linalool, terpineol, geraniol, safrole, eugenol and isoeugenol. Mace essential oil is similar to nutmeg oil but it is fresher than the seed oil.
Uses:
Nutmeg is grated in small quantities for flavouring and confectionery. Mace is used with savoury dishes in pickles and ketchups. The seeds yield a solid fixed oil, nutmeg butter, which is used in ointments and perfumery.
 

 

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