Cumin seeds were irradiated with recommended doses of gamma rays (5.0, 8.0 and 10.0 kGy) and stored for six months in order to improve its hygienic quality. The obtained results indicated that irradiation doses at 5.0, 8.0 and 10.0 kGy were sufficiently decrease Enterobacteriaces and total bacterial count and completely inhibited the fungal flora and Escherichia coli.
Irradiation had no significant effect on the major chemical constituents of cumin i.e. total nitrogen, crude protein and total lipids.
GLC analysis of cumin oil proved the presence of eleven compounds. The major compound was cuminaldehyde (26.89%). No marked changes were observed in the most of volatile oil components under the effect of studied irradiation doses (5.0, 8.0 and 10.0 kGy). Statistical analysis of data showed that irradiation had no significant effect on sensory properties of cumin seeds and the volatile oils.