The pungent taste of horse radish, the root of Cochlearia Armoracia, L. is due to an oil. According to the investigations of). Gadamer3), this oil in all probability owes its origin to the presence of sinigrin, which, when the succulent root is grated, is hydrolyzed, by a ferment that is present, with the formation of a mustard oil. Distilled in glass vessels a yield of 0,05 p.c. is obtained.
1) Loc tit. 107.
2) Arch, der Pharm. 241 (1903), 691.
3) Ibidem 235 (1897), 577.
The crude oil is light yellow in color and has a consistence of cinnamon oil. The rectified oil is colorless, d 1,01. The odor is penetrating, causes tears to flow and cannot be distinguished from that of mustard oil. Like the latter, it causes a burning sensation and produces blisters when applied to the skin.
Oil of horse radish contains sulphur. Basing his conclusions on elementary analysis and on the thiosinamine compound, Hubatka1) is of opinion that the oil has the same composition as that of mustard oil. The statements of Hubatka have since been verified by the investigations of G. Sani2).
An oil that had been kept with water for years in a well-closed container had disappeared and in its place acicular crystals with a silver lustre had been formed. These had an odor reminding one first of horse radish, later of peppermint and finally of camphor3).