Celery seed is used mainly as a spice in India. It belongs to the family Of Umbelliferae. Its botanical name is Apium graveolens Linn. In India celery is known by various names. For instance, in Hindi it is called Shalari, Ajmud; Bandhuri or Chanu in Bengali; Bodiajmoda in Gujarati; Ajmoda in Marathi; Kernauli in Punjabi; Ajamoda in Sanskrit and Ajmada in Tamil.
Composition of Celery Seed
Average composition of the seed is as follows:
Fat (ether extract): 22.8 %
Crude fibre: 2.9 %
Total ash:10.2 %
Phosphorus: 0.55 %
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.42 mg/100g
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.49 mg/100g
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid):17.2 mg/100g
Vitamin A:650 I.U
Calorific value:450 calories/100g
The composition of seeds however varies considerably depending on various factors like region, agro climatic conditions, soil and so on. Average essential oil yield of the seed is 2.4 %. Fresh celery leaves and stalk have the typical composition given below respectively
Carbohydrates: 8.6,3.5 %
Mineral matter: 2.1,0.9 %
Vitamin A: 5800,7500 I.U
Vitamin C:62,6 mg/100g
Calorific value:64,18 calories per 100g.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that leaves are more nutritious than stalk, particularly from the viewpoint of protein, vitamins A and C.
Uses of CeleryS
The celery seed is available as whole or ground. The celery fruit (or seed) yield 2 to 3 %of a pale yellow volatile oil with a persistent odour. In trade, this is known as celery seed oil and is much valued both as a fixative and as an ingredient of novel perfume. The principal constituents are - d-limonene (60 %), d-selinene (10 %), sedanonic acid anhydride (0.5 %) and sedanolide (2.5 to 3 %). The last two are responsible for aroma of the oil.
Green leaves yield 0.1 % volatile oil, but it has no commercial importance. Celery Chaff oil has a somewhat harsher and coarser odour than that of celery seed oil. It has less demand and value than the seed oil.
Oleoresin of celery seed is prepared by extracting the crushed dried celery seeds with suitable volatile solvents and filtration under vacuum. The oleoresin not only possesses the volatile top note of the essential oil, but also the `body` i.e. the fixed or non-volatile extractive matter of the celery used. Oleoresin could rightly be considered as `liquid celery seed`, which is easier to handle the dried ripe fruits (celery seeds) are used as spice. Leaves and stalks are used as salads in soups and as a pre-dinner appetizer.
They are stimulant and tonic, used in asthma and for liver diseases.
The fruits also yield 17 % of fatty oil, `oil of celery`. This is used as an anti-spasmodic and nerve stimulant. It has been successfully employed in rheumatoid arthritis and probably acts as an intestinal antiseptic. The root is considered alternative and diuretic and is given in anasarca and colic.
The commercial use of celery seed oil is as a fixative, as an important ingredient in perfumes, in medicine and in flavouring of different types of foods, such as meats, sausages, canned soups, sauces, celery tonics and medicinal preparations. Celery is cultivated both for salad ands seed raising in the north-west Himalayas, Punjab
and Uttar Pradesh
. In the Amritsar
district of Punjab
alone, about 300 acres had been put under this crop in the Rabi season. Celery seed is in great demand both in India and abroad. In colder climates and on the hills, celery is a biennial crop and produces seeds only in the second year, but in the plains, it becomes an annual and produces seeds in the very first year. It is a moisture loving plant, requires cool climate.