Traditionally mustard was more of a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. As early as ancient Greeks. This article covers its modern-day uses, how it’s cultivated, and the chemical makeup.
Hydroponics of Mustard
For hydroponic cultivation of mustard, sow the seeds in the Rockwool media. Once the seeds begin to sprout, transfer the seedling into the hydroponic system and ensure the following conditions:
As is the case with most plants, the nutrient film technique is best suited for mustard cultivation.
A low temperature in the range of 15 °C to 25 °C promotes the growth of mustard.
Application of fertilizer with the following ratio (36.9:21.3:12.2) increases the yield of the mustard plant.
Nutritional Profile of Mustard
The nutritional profile of mustard consists of the following components:
Mustard is a calorie-rich spice ingredient. 2000+ kJ of energy is partly owed to the presence of high amounts of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins. (FoodCentral, 2018)
100g portion of mustard has enough zinc (6g) to fulfill half of the body’s daily requirement. Other minerals found in mustard are calcium, phosphorus, and copper.
Mustard has an ample amount (7.1g) of vitamin C along with large reserves of an active form of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol.
Health Benefits of Mustard
Stored in the gall bladder, bile is processed in the liver, where the potentially harmful substances are incorporated. The reabsorption of bile, therefore, increases the risk of cancer.
Mustard strongly clings to the bile constituents, preventing their reabsorption, thus minimizing the risk of cancer. (M.D., 2014)
Sulforaphane & Myrosinase Enzymes
Sulforaphane is a main active ingredient found in cruciferous vegetables, which may protect our brain, protect our eyesight, protect against free radicals, induce our detoxification enzymes, help prevent cancer, as well as help treat it. However, as I talk about in this article, sulforaphane is only produced when chewing the vegetable raw. Fortunately, Mustard seed contains myrosinase enzymes and adding it in mustard powder form of even a pinch to cooked cruciferous vegetables like kale, collards or brussels sprouts can offer anti-cancer sulforaphane levels to maximize health benefits.
Chemistry of Mustard
Mustard relies on phytochemicals and phenolic compounds for its characteristic flavor and associated health benefits.
A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the mustard leaf revealed 71 different phenolic compounds—10 previously unknown. The major phenolic compounds were identified as kaempferol 3-O-glucoside-7-O-glucoside derivatives, hydroxycinnamoylmalic acid, and hydroxycinnamoylquinic acid. (Harnly, 2010)
Although not whole food itself, its characteristic flavor allows it to enhance the taste of many whole foods and cuisines.
FoodCentral. (2018, 4 1). Retrieved from U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170929/nutrients
Harnly, J. M. (2010, May 4). Phenolic Component Profiles of Mustard Greens, Yu Choy, and 15 Other Brassica Vegetables. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 6850-6857. doi:https://doi.org/10.1021/jf1004786
M.D., M. G. (2014, August). Which Vegetable Binds Bile Best? Retrieved from Nutrition Facts: Michael Greger M.D.