Cumin is the dried, white fruit with greyish brown colour of a small slender annual herb. The surface of the fruit has 5 primary ridges, alternatively has 4 less distinct secondary ridges bearing numerous short hairs.
The aromatic seed like fruit is elongated, ovoid, 3 to 6 mm long, slightly bitter and has a warm flavour. Cumin seed have an aromatic odour and bitter taste.
The major component 2.5 to 4% essential oil. In the essential oil, cumin aldehyde (p-isopropyl-benzaldehyde, 25 to 35%), further¬more perilla aldehyde, cumin alcohol, α- and β-pinene (21%), dipentene, p-cymene and β-phellandrene were found.
Used as spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma.
Used as an ingredient in some pickles and pastries also its used an ingredient in curry powders, seasonings of breads, cakes and cheese.In medicine, it is used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic and astringent