Description & extraction:
Nutmeg (also known as pala in Indonesia) is one of the two spices – the other being mace – derived from several species of tree in the genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia.
The nutmeg seed is one of four c components of the fruit obtained from the nutmeg tree, Myristica frangans Houtt (Myristicaceae) About 30-55% of the seed consists of oils and 45-60% consists of solid matter including cellulose materials. There are two types of oils: (1) The "essential oil of nutmeg" also called the "volatile oil" accounts for 5-15% of the nutmeg seed and (2) the "fixed oil of nutmeg" sometimes called "nutmeg butter" or expressed oil of nutmeg accounts for 24-40% of the nutmeg seed.14 The relative percentages of the different components will vary depending on the geographical origin of the nutmeg. From this point on, "essential oil", "volatile oil", and "nutmeg oil" will be used interchangeably.