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  • The nutmegs Myristica are a genus of evergreen trees indigenous to tropical southeast Asia and Australasia.
  • Nutmeg and mace have similar taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour.
  • Nutmeg is a flavorful addition to cheese sauces and is best grated fresh.


  • Nutmeg essential oil can be prepared by distillation.
  • Nutmeg and mace oleoresins are extracted from the plant using organic solvents.
  • Two oils are obtained from nutmeg and mace; volatile oil obtained by distillation, and a fixed oil obtained by subjecting the nutmegs to heat under pressure.


  • World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes per year with annual world demand estimated at 9,000 tonnes.
  • Production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes.
  • Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products with a world market share of 75% and 20% respectively.
  • The principal import markets are the European Community, the United States, Japan and India.


  • Nutmeg and mace are used to flavour bakery; meat and fish dishes; sauces and vegetables; such beverages as eggnog; and in preserving and pickling.
  • Nutmeg appears in the Hindu Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for fever, asthma and heart disease.
  • Since the seventh century Arabs have used it for digestive disorders, kidney disase and lymphatic ailments.
  • Nutmeg is used in perfumery, soaps and shampoos. Nutmeg seed oil, which consists primarily of pinene and camphene, is used in perfume.

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