Anise or Pimpinella anisum is a herbal plant from the family Apiaceae. Anise name derived via Old French from the latin Anise is usually cultivated for its fruit, aniseed. Originated in Egypt and The Eastern Mediterranean region, this plant is now widely cultivated in Southern Europe, Southern Russia, The Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, China, Chile, Mexico, and The United States. Aniseed plant covered with fine hairs and has the average height of 30 to 50 cm. The fruit usually called aniseed, has an oval shape with ground to greyish brown colour and 3 to 6 mm in length.
Aniseed is distributed in dry forms. Aniseed are harvested when they have turned gray-brown in color for about a month after flowering. Then they are harvested by cutting them with scissors or secateurs. After that, aniseeds are spread in the sunny area to dried them. Once dry, aniseeds stored in an airtight container.
For the application, aniseed are used as spice in cooking or as a flavoring for confectionery. Aniseed commonly found as the characteristic ingredient in German bread called anis bread and in the Italian biscotti. Aniseed could also be used as a flavoring ingredient in liquors and even cough syrups or other medicine. In Mediterranean region and Asia aniseed is commonly used in meat and vegetable dishes. This spice could also be an ingredient for soothing herbal tea for medicinal use and as the based for the essential oil.
According to United States Department of Agriculture, the requirements for dry and whole aniseed are:
Max Moisture : 11.0%
Min Volatile Oil : 1.5%
Max Total Ash : 9.5%
Max Acid Insoluble Ash :1.0%
Aniseed has a seed appearance, but aniseed is categorized as spice because of its uses in cooking.