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Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

Plant family

Verbenaceae (vervain family).

Botanical synonyms

-

Origin

The plant is of Mediterranean origin.

Used plant part

Fruits.

Sensoric quality

Aromatic, but weak aroma; slightly pungent and bitter taste.

Main constituents

The dried fruits contain only small amounts (0.5%) of essential oil, which is dominated by the monoterpene derivatives limonene, 1,8-cineol, bornyl acetate, a- and -pinene and sabinene. The bitter-adstringent taste is caused by flavonoids (castican, orientin and isovitexin) and iridoid glycosides (agnuside, aucubin).


Dried chaste tree fruits

Use

Dried chaste tree berries have been used, in small scale, as a pepper substitute, but the taste is really rather weak. They might, though, have some merits in spice mixtures for barbecued or fried meat.

ource : www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/spice_welcome.html




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