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HOMESPICES /MACE

Mace
Alternate Names: Myristica Fragrans,Nutmeg.
Part used:
Seed Kernels.

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Mace spice is a dried, outer aril, enveloping firmly around the nutmeg kernel. Nutmeg kernel and mace arils indeed are two separate spice products of same nutmeg fruit. However, spice-mace has characteristically composed higher concentration of certain essential oils and features refined, yet more intense aroma than nutmeg. For the same reasons, it commands a higher price and special place in the kitchen spice box!

Mace, as well as the nutmeg seeds, were thought to have originated in the tropical rainforest of the Indonesian Maluku Islands, also known as the “Spice Islands.” Binomially, nutmeg is evergreen tree belonging to Myristicaceae family and scientifically called as Myristica fragrans.

Botanically, the nutmeg fruit, in fact, is a drupe-like apricot. Once completely ripen, it splits open through its bottom (basal) end to reveal a single, centrally situated oval shaped hard seed (kernel) known commercially as the “nutmeg.” Adhering closely to this nutmeg kernel is crimson-red, lacy or thread like arils known as mace spice. This mace aril is then carefully peeled off nutmeng kernel; either by hand or using a knife. It allowed to dry under the shade for 3-4 days. Dried mace arils, which now attained amber color are then processed and graded before being dispatched to the market.

  • Essentially employed as an aromatic agent; mace spice significantly enhances color, taste, and flavor of foods. Besides, it contains some of the health benefiting antioxidant compounds, essential oils, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Mace features quite a different nutritional profile than nutmeg. It is less in calories, but has more concentrations of essential oils, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, carotenes, iron, calcium,
  • The spice contains fixed oiltrimyristin, and many essential volatile oils, which gives a sweet aromatic flavor such as myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole. These oils occur in higher concentration in mace than in nutmeg. The other less important volatile oils are pinene, camphene, di-pentene, cineole, linalool, sabinene, safrole, terpeneol.
  • The active principles in mace spice have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive, and carminative functions.
  • Mace has more vitamin-C content than nutmeg. 100 g mace spice has 21 mg against just 3 mg of nutmegs. Likewise, mace blades contain more riboflavin (vitamin B-2).
  • Mace arils are rather excellent sources of vitamin-A. 100 g of mace provides 800 IU vitamin-A, nearly nine times more than that in nutmeg.
  • Mace arils contain more calcium, copper, iron and magnesium than nutmeg. 100 g of mace powder has 13.90 mg of iron when compared to just 3.04 mg of nutmeg. The human body utilizes manganese and copper as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases
  • As in nutmeg, mace extraction has also been employed in Chinese and Indian traditional medicines for the treatment of illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. The compounds in this spice such as myristicin and elemicin have been found to have soothing as well as stimulant properties on the brain.
  • Nutmeg and mace oil contain eugenol, which has been used in dentistry for toothache relief.
  • The oil is also used as a local massage to reduce muscular pain and rheumatic pain of joints.
  • Freshly prepared mace-decoction with honey has been employed to get relief from nausea, gastritis, and indigestion ailments.
  • Consumption of large amounts of nutmeg and mace spice may cause sweating, palpitations, headache, body pain and in the severe cases, hallucination and delirium.
  • In a very small doses, it may be used safely in pregnancy and lactation.
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