Strausbaugh, Perry D. Department of Botany, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Core, Earl L. Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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An important spice and flavoring agent from the fruits of the white-flowered perennial herb Carum carvi (family Apiaceae). Caraway is a native plant of Europe and western Asia. It is now cultivated in many temperate areas of both hemispheres of the world. The small, brown, slightly curved, seedlike fruits (see illustration) are used in perfumery, cookery and confectionery; in medicine; and for flavoring beverages. Caraway oil (carui oil), which is distilled from the dried fruit of the plant, is a pale-yellow to colorless liquid that is slightly soluble in water; its main ingredients are carvone and d-limonene and it is used in flavors, medicines, soaps and perfumes. See also: Apiales; Spice and flavoring
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