Pine nuts has a delicate flavor with sweet aroma and is used in many traditional medicinal applications since ancient times. The main chemical components in pine oil are borneol, bornyl acetate, α and β-phellandrene, α-pinene and β-pinene. Its emollient property helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
Widely used in prepared foods, the one single food preparation that greatly enhanced the popularity of pine nuts is pesto, the condiment produced by blending pine nuts with basil, garlic and olive oil. The nuts are also used in a variety of sweet and savory snacks, bakery products, and salads, and with meat dishes and ethnic foods. Higher in protein than most nuts, pine nuts also are good sources of thiamin, potassium and phosphorus.