|Star anise fruits and seeds|
Illicium verum is a medium-sized evergreen tree native to northeast Vietnam and southwest China. A spice commonly called star anise, staranise, star anise seed, Chinese star anise, or badian that closely resembles anise in flavor is obtained from the star-shaped pericarps of the fruit of I. verum which are harvested just before ripening. Star anise oil is a highly fragrant oil used in cooking, perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams. About 90% of the world’s star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid, a chemical intermediate used in the synthesis of oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
Star anise contains anethole, the same compound that gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking, as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liqueur Galliano. Star anise enhances the flavour of meat.
It is used as a spice in preparation of biryani and masala chai all over the Indian subcontinent. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and in Malay and Indonesian cuisines. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also a major ingredient in the making of phở, a Vietnamese noodle soup.
It is also used in the French recipe of mulled wine, called vin chaud (hot wine). If allowed to steep in coffee, it deepens and enriches the flavor. The pods can be used in this manner multiple times by the pot-full or cup, as the ease of extraction of the taste components increases with the permeation of hot water.
Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of antiinfluenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Shikimic acid is produced by most autotrophic organisms, and while it can be obtained in commercial quantities elsewhere, star anise remains the usual industrial source. In 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was caused by its use in the production of Tamiflu. Later that year, a method for the production of shikimic acid using bacteria was discovered. Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from fermentation by E. coli bacteria. The 2009 swine flu outbreak led to another series of shortages, as stocks of Tamiflu were built up around the world, sending prices soaring.
Star anise is grown in four provinces in China and harvested between March and May. It is also found in the south of New South Wales. The shikimic acid is extracted from the seeds in a 10-stage manufacturing process which takes a year.
Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is highly toxic and inedible; in Japan, it has instead been burned as incense. Cases of illness, including “serious neurological effects, such as seizures”, reported after using star anise tea, may be a result of deliberate economically motivated adulteration with this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive organs. The toxicity of I. anisatum, also known as shikimi, is caused by its potent neurotoxins anisatin, neoanisatin, and pseudoanisatin, which are noncompetitive antagonists of GABA receptors.
Standardization of its products and services
- Refer to the 4th edition of the European Pharmacopoeia (1153)
Differentiation from other species
- ISO 11178:1995 – a specification for its dried fruits
- GB/T 7652:2006 – a Chinese standard of the product
|Literal meaning||“eight edges”|
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- Louisa Lim (18 May 2009). “Swine Flu Bumps Up Price Of Chinese Spice”. NPR.
- Perret, C.; Tabin, R.; Marcoz, J.-P.; Llor, J.; Cheseaux, J.-J. (2011). “Malaise du nourrisson pensez à une intoxication à l’anis étoilé” [Apparent life-threatening event in infants: think about star anise intoxication]. Archives de Pédiatrie. 18 (7): 750–753. doi:10.1016/j.arcped.2011.03.024. PMID 21652187.
- “How to Grow Star Anise”. 2015-10-28.
- International Organization for Standardization. “ISO 676:1995 Spices and condiments — Botanical nomenclature”. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- Joshi, Vaishali C.; Ragone, S; Bruck, IS; Bernstein, JN; Duchowny, M; Peña, BM (2005). “Rapid and easy identification of Illicium verum Hook. f. and its adulterant Illicium anisatum Linn. by fluorescent microscopy and gas chromatography”. Journal of AOAC International. 88 (3): 703–706. PMID 16001842. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- Lederer, Ines; Schulzki, G; Gross, J; Steffen, JP (2006). “Combination of TLC and HPLC-MS/MS methods. Approach to a rational quality control of Chinese star anise”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 54 (6): 1970–1974. doi:10.1021/jf058156b. PMID 16536563.
- International Organization for Standardization. “ISO 11178:1995 Star anise (Illicium verum Hook. f.) — Specification”. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- 供销总杜南京野生植物综合利用研究院. “GB/T 7652-2006 八角”. Retrieved 8 June 2009.