Saturday, March 01, 2008

Fenugreek flavor

Fenugreek flavor
Fenugreek is a small European annual herb of the natural order Leguminoseae and now widely cultivated in southern Europe, North Africa, Cyprus and India. 

It is seeds that which constitute the spice. These are oblong-quadrangular somewhat compressed and obliquely truncated at each extremity. They are 3-5 mm long and 2-3 mm broad, brownish-yellow in color with a deep furrow running obliquely from one side.
Ground fenugreek has a strong, pleasant and quite peculiar odor which is very reminiscent of maple due to the presence of a minute quantity of essential oil which is extremely odorous. 

The quantity of volatile oil is only about 0.01% to 0.02% and are not available commercially.The seeds also containing about 7% f fixed oil, resin, protein and starch. Its marked bitter taste is due to alkaloids – trigonelline and choline.
In flavorings ground fenugreek is usually extracted with alcohol to give strongly aromatic chemicals, may be used in the making of an imitation maple syrup flavor.

If the alcoholic extract is processed to remove the solvent the resulting “oleoresin fenugreek” has a quite different profile reminiscent of cooked meat which makes it a useful component in seasoning.
Fenugreek flavor
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