Mustard sarepta – girchitsya sareptska (harvesting and storage)

Sarepta mustard – Brassica juncea (L.) Czern. etlosson. The Ukrainian name is gіrchitsya sareptska; folk names – girchitsya, girchak.


Cruciferous family – Brassicaceae (Cruciferae).

The seeds are used for medicinal purposes.

The plant comes from Southwest Asia.

Cultivated in the steppe zone of Ukraine as an important oilseed crop.

Sarepta mustard is an annual herbaceous plant with an upright stem branching in the upper part, up to 60 cm high. The leaves are alternate, petiolate; lower lyre-shaped, pinnatipartite with larger upper lobes; medium lanceolate, notched; the upper ones are simple, almost entire. The flowers are yellow, small, located at the ends of the stem and branches elongated during flowering tassels. The fruits are cylindrical pods, deviated from the stem, with a subulate spout. Seeds are yellow or brown. Blossoms in May, fruits ripen in June.

Other types of mustard are also found in the republic: black mustard – Brassica nigra (L.) K o c h., which differs from Sarepta in smaller pods pressed against the stem; white mustard – Sinapis alba L. – has relatively large yellow seeds, hairy pods, a flattened nose, pods depart from the stem at a right angle.

Wild species of mustard are found everywhere in the fields as a weed.

The crop is harvested when the lower and middle pods are ripe, the plant turns yellow, and the lower leaves fall off.

They mow with converted combines, the seeds are cleaned on winnowers. When mowing with harvesters, the grass is dried in rolls, threshed with combines, preventing the seeds from drying out and shedding. If necessary, the seeds are dried on currents, scattering a thin layer (2-3 cm) on tarpaulins or other fabric. Seed yield is 5-10 c/ha.

According to GF-IX Art. 439, OST NKVT 7918/381 raw material consists of seeds with a diameter of 1.2-1.8 mm. Their color is reddish-brown with various lighter shades. There is no smell. The taste is pungent, characteristic of mustard. Humidity is not higher than 12%.

In raw materials, no more than (percent) is allowed: weed impurities (mineral and organic), seeds of other plants, crushed parts passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 1 mm – 2, seeds of other oil plants, damaged mustard seeds – 2. The ash content must be no more than 5%, the content of allyl isothiocyanate is not less than 0.7%.

Packed in bags of 60 kg.

Stored in dry, well-ventilated rooms in the group of essential oil raw materials packed on pallets.

Mustard seeds contain up to 35% fatty oil, sinigrin glycoside and myrosin enzyme. Fatty oil is obtained by cold pressing. Used in the perfume, pharmaceutical and food industries.

Mustard essential oil is obtained from oil cake by steam distillation. Fat-free cake is turned into powder (mustard flour), from which mustard plasters and table mustard are made. Mustard essential oil in the form of mustard alcohol and mustard plasters are used as an external local irritant and distraction. Mustard powder is also used for general and foot baths, as a means of stimulating blood circulation, deepening breathing, and facilitating the separation of sputum. Mustard seeds or table mustard are used as a means of improving appetite and stimulating the process of digestion. Seeds are part of the gastric collection. Volatile mustard vapors have a phytoncidal effect and are used to store perishable products.

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