Deodorizing Substance in Black Cumin (Nigella sativa L.) Seed Oil

J Oleo Sci. 2017 Aug 1;66(8):877-882. doi: 10.5650/jos.ess17001. Epub 2017 Jul 12.


A deodorizing substance in black cumin (Nigella sativa L.), a spice for curry and vegetable foods in Southwest Asia, was examined. The essential oil prepared from the seeds of this plant exhibited strong deodorizing activity against methyl mercaptan, which is a main factor in oral malodor. After purification with silica gel column chromatography, the active substance in black cumin seed oil was identified as thymoquinone. This monoterpenic quinone functions as the main deodorizing substance in this oil against methyl mercaptan. Metabolite analysis suggested that the deodorizing activity may be generated by the addition of a reactive quinone molecule to methyl mercaptan. In the present study, the menthane-type quinone and phenol derivatives exhibited deodorizing activities via this mechanism.

Keywords: black cumin; oral deodorant; thymoquinone.

MeSH terms

  • Benzoquinones / analysis*
  • Benzoquinones / isolation & purification*
  • Deodorants / analysis*
  • Deodorants / isolation & purification*
  • Monoterpenes
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds


  • Benzoquinones
  • Deodorants
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • quinone
  • thymoquinone