Yellow Mustard Seed (also called White Mustard Seed) is botanically called Brassica alba (sometimes identified as Sinapis alba or Brassica hirta) and is from the family Brassicaceae. Other members of this family include black mustard, brown mustard, horseradish and wasabi. This group shares hot and pungent chemicals known as isothiocyanates (pronounced iso·thio·cy·a·nate). This chemical is the plant’s defense system against grazing animals that, when chewed, releases these burning chemicals. The isothiocyanates lay dormant in the plant and are only released when the plant is disturbed.
Yellow Mustard is also known as moutarde blanche (French), weisser senf (German), senape biancha (Italian) and mostaza silvestre (Spanish)