The very essence of Mustard Oil is encapsulated in its pungency. It is the hallmark of good Mustard Oil. It is Mustard Oil’s defining characteristic. Pungency is what sets Mustard Oil apart from other cooking oils.
However, there is a disturbing trend that one is witnessing of late. Certain marketers are offering what they call “low-pungency mustard oil”, making it sound like the aspect of low pungency represents some kind of health benefit. The claim is patently false. The truth is pungency as a property is the touchstone for many of the health benefits that Mustard Oil has to offer – in particular, its unique ability to protect the body against infections, to detoxify the body, to enhance the efficient functioning of the gastrointestinal system and to prevent (and even treat) certain cancers like colon and colorectal cancer.
You see, the pungent principle in Mustard Oil is activated by an enzyme called myronsinase. Mustard also contains a glucosinolate called sinigrin. When mustard seeds are cold pressed, the myronsinase combines with sinigrin to produce allyl isothiocyanate (AITC). It is AITC that gives Mustard Oil its typical pungency. It also delivers the powerful protective and cancer-fighting properties that we discussed earlier. So now you know – no pungency means no health benefits.
Some time ago, the Business Standard carried a well-researched piece highlighting this aspect. If you missed it, you can read it right here:
So when it comes to choosing a brand of Mustard Oil that delivers comprehensive health benefits, remember: Pungency is the Gold Standard.