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Nutmeg, scientifically known as Myristica fragrans, belongs to the family Myristicaceae.
Nutmeg is said to have originated in Indonesia. After planting, it takes almost nine years for nutmeg tree to mature and produce fruit.
The tree produces fruits through the year; and the highest yield comes during from June-August period.
When nutmeg fruit is ripe, a bright, red seed-like thing pops out of the fruit. The color of nutmeg fruit changes from greenish-yellow to brownish-yellow when ripe.
The seed-like thing found inside the fruit is called mace, which is bright red in colour. The taste of mace is spicier and peppery. Nutmeg contains Carbohydrates, Fibers, Fat, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium etc.
Nutmeg is used for various medicinal purposes. In India, Nutmeg as a spice is used in cuisines, juice, pickles and chutney.
The oil extracted from nutmeg is used in perfumes and pharmaceutical products.
After the oil extraction, the seed’s remaining--called spent--is used for milling. The pure seed is difficult for milling thanks to high presence of oil in the seed.
Kerala is the largest producer of Nutmeg in India. In Kerala, Angamaly and Kaladi the main regions where the spice is cultivated. Of the total produce in India, only 10 percent is exported and the rest is domestically consumed. Other Nutmeg producing states are Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Major Nutmeg producing countries are Guatemala, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Laos, Bhutan, Tanzania, Grenada, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Guatemala, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Grenada and Singapore are the major Nutmeg exporting countries.
European Union, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and Bangladesh are the top Nutmeg importing countries.
Local trading hubs for Nutmeg in India are
Kerala (Ernakulam, Kottyam, Thrissur)
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