Vanillin and ethylvanillin are used by the food industry; ethylvanillin is more expensive, but has a stronger note. It differs from vanillin by having an ethoxy group (–O–CH2CH3) instead of a methoxy group (–O–CH3).
Natural "vanilla extract" is a mixture of several hundred different compounds in addition to vanillin. Artificial vanilla flavoring is often a solution of pure vanillin, usually of synthetic origin. Because of the scarcity and expense of natural vanilla extract, synthetic preparation of its predominant component has long been of interest. The first commercial synthesis of vanillin began with the more readily available natural compound eugenol. Today, artificial vanillin is made either from guaiacol or lignin.
Lignin-based artificial vanilla flavoring is alleged to have a richer flavor profile than oil-based flavoring; the difference is due to the presence of acetovanillone, a minor component in the lignin-derived product that is not found in vanillin synthesized from guaiacol.
|Appearance & Physical State:||White crystals or slightly yellow needles with vanilla, sweet, balsamic and pleasant odor|
|Boiling Point:||170ºC (15 mmHg)|
|Water Solubility:||10 g/L (25 ºC)|
|Soluble:||soluble in ether, chloroform, acetic acid|
|Stability:||Stable. May discolour on exposure to light. Moisture-sensitive. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents, perchloric acid.|
|Storage Condition:||Store in a cool, dry place. Store protected from moisture. Store protected from light.|
|Vapor Pressure:||>0.01 mm Hg ( 25 °C)|
|Vapor Density:||5.3 (vs air)|
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