Tung Oil Tree
Tung oil comes from the seeds of several species of Aleurites, primarily Aleurites fordii, a deciduous shade tree native to China.
It belongs to the Euphorbia Family (Euphorbiaceae) along with the candlenut tree (A. molucanna), another species with seeds rich in unsaturated oils.
Tung oil tree (Aleurites fordii) showing two male flowers and one female flower (left) in which the petals have fallen off exposing the pistil.
For centuries tung oil has been used for paints and waterproof coatings, and as a component of caulk and mortar.
Fruit and seeds of the tung oil tree (Aleurites fordii). The oil-rich seeds are the source of tung oil used on fine furniture. The lower left fruit has completely dried out
It is an ingredient in "India ink" and is commonly used for a lustrous finish on wood.
In fact, the "teak oil" sold for fine furniture is usually refined tung oil.
Some woodworkers consider tung oil to be one of the best natural finishes for wood.
Other unsaturated plant oils, such as castor oil and linseed oil, take longer to dry and leave an oily residue until they soak into the wood surface.
Tung oil 's ability to dry quickly and polymerize into a tough, glossy, waterproof coating has made it especially valuable in paints, varnishes, linoleum, oilcloth and printing inks.
Tung oil is composed primarily of eleostearic (elaeostearic) acid, with smaller amounts of oleic, linoleic and palmitic glycerides
Although the closely related candlenut tree (Aleurites molucanna) is also native to Asia, it has been spread by people throughout the tropical Pacific because its seeds are rich in oil.
The valuable oil expressed from seeds is used as a light source and as a mild cathartic.
Seeds were strung together and burned like a candle.
The seed of candlenut (Aleurites molucanna) contains about 50 percent oil. This is why it ignites and burns like a candle.
]The Polynesians used them for candles that burned for about 45 minutes.
Hawaiians also extracted the oil for many other uses: to shine and waterproof wooden bowls, to mix with charcoal to make black canoe paint, to burn as torches, and to burn in stone lamps for light.
Shelled candlenuts (Aleurites molucanna) are commonly sold in Asian food markets.
they should not be eaten raw because they contain a strong purgative.
A bag of shelled candlenuts (Aleurites molucanna). The shelled nuts are actually the seeds of this tropical Malaysian tree. Like the label states: This is not a snack food. The ground nuts are used in the preparation of several Asian and Polynesian dishes including a thickener and flavoring in Indonesian curries.
In sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
a deciduous tree of the midwestern and eastern United States, cells of the sapwood at the base of the tree produce large amounts of sugar during late winter and early spring.
The sugary sap results from the conversion of starches accumulated during the previous growing season into sugars during the winter, mostly in ray cells
. During March and April, when the ground is thawing and the sap is flowing, holes are drilled into the sapwood at the base of the trunk.
A tube or spigot (called a spile) is inserted into the hole and a pail hung below it.
The watery sap drips down the spile and into the bucket
The sap is boiled down until it reaches the desired consistency for maple syrup.
Most commercial syrups are sweetened and thickened with corn syrup and water soluble gums (such as cellulose gum).
They are usually colored and flavored with caramel color and natural or artificial maple flavoring.
They often appear darker and thicker than pure maple syrup
Maple sugar comes from the evaporated maple syrup