Mustard seeds are obtained from mustard plant. There are different types of mustard plants and the seeds are smaller in size ranging about 2mm of diameter. It is grown into yellowish color and changed to black. The mustard seeds are also called as rapeseeds. In India mustard is a widely applied spice variety that is mainly used in the preparation of pickles. The powder obtained from mustard seeds called aavalu powder is very popular in India. In French mustard seeds had been in use since 800 AD and the Spanish took the seeds after their exploration into French during 1400s.

There are different varieties of mustard seeds that differ in quality and flavor. The seed type, preparation and other ingredients determines the taste and type of mustard and the black color seeds are found to be the hottest of all.

Mustard seeds are grown for obtaining oil as well as adding as a spice in India. In other foreign nations it is regarded as a spice ingredient. Mustard plant belongs to Brassica genus and this genus contains about 150 species both annual and biennial herbs. There are many plants which are grown as vegetable or cultivated for oil and mustard plant is the only specices that is cultivated for oil and seeds. There is always considerable ambiguity in identification and nomenclature of Brassicas oil yield due to the presence of cross pollinated taking place.

Mustard flour that is produced for commercial purpose contains mixture of two varieties of mustard seeds black or brown nigra mustard and alba or white mustard. Mustard is applied as condiment due to the presence of the above two types of mustard seeds. The brown mustard contains volatile oil which is named as allyl isothiocyanate and the oil obtained from white mustard is acrimyl isothiocyanate. The essential properties are not present in brown or black mustard however; they are obtained in terms of hydrolysis of respective glycosides, sinalbin and potassium muronate through enzyme myrosin action under suitable moisture condition.

Nutritional Profile of Mustard Seeds

- Mustard Seeds contain excellent source of selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
- It contains good amount of dietary fiber, niacin, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, calcium, etc.

Cultivation of Mustard

- Europe is the prominent location where black mustard seeds are grown.
- Northern Africa, Sothern Siberia and Asia Minor are some of the other locations where black mustard is cultivated.
- In South America and North America it is naturalized.
- It is largely cultivated in countries like Holland, Germany, Italy, Holland, England, etc.
- It is mainly cultivated for the purpose of applying as seeds, extracting oil from the seeds and as condiments.
- It takes 3 to 10 days to germinate and grows well under proper condition.
- It requires cold climate, comparatively moist soil, etc.
- The plants of mustard grow into shrubs when they mature.
- It grows well in temperate regions.
- Hungary, India, United States, Great Britain are some of the countries that produces mustard in large quantity.
- Brown or black mustard seeds are more productive and yield more than yellowish mustard seeds.

Botanical names:

- Brassica nigra Koch
- Brassica alba Linn.
- Brassica hirta Linn
- Brassica juncea (Linn) Czernjajev.
- Family names: Crucifereae.

Black mustard is also called as true mustard in English and white mustard is called as India mustard or brown mustard.

Mustard Oil

- Mustard seeds yield 23 to 33% of oil.

- Volatile mustard oil is yielded from mustard from 0.7 to 1.2% through the process of hydrolysis of glucoside sinigrin through enzyme myrosin.

To obtain volatile oil from mustard oil the standard mustard oil is extracted from the mustard seeds are macerated along with tepid warm water for several hours. It is them sent from steam distilling and the oil obtained through these methods stays powerful irritant due to its volatility as well as penetrating power. The black mustard is powdered with white mustard in the process of preparing table mustard and various medicinal preparations like mustard flour, bran, etc. This oil contains mild rubefacient property and it is for the same reason it is applied as liniment. In India black mustard seeds are applied in the preparation of pickles and curries.

Brassica Juncea also called as Indian mustard is a fertile form of plant species and variable annual. The leaves are narrow based and not clasping like in the case of sarson or toria. It is called as Rai in India.