Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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4-hydroxy-3-metoxy-benzaldehyde; CAS number: 121-33-5; Vanillinum Ph.Eur.; Vanillinum saccharatum; Vanillum saccharatum

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Vanillin, also called Vanillinum saccharatum, a benzaldehyde with the molecular formula C8H8O3, is the monomethyl ether of protocatecualdehyde

The aromatic vanilla-scented substance is soluble in hot water, very easily soluble in ethanol and ether. Vanillin used to be extracted from the fruit of true vanilla (Vanilla planiflora), then semi-synthetically from coniferine and currently synthetically from eugenol or guaiacol (Gallage NJ et al. 2015; Kundu A 2017).

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Vanillin is used as a flavouring and spice. Vanilla sugar should contain at least 1% vanillin. Both vanillin and vanillic acid have antimicrobial properties. Antioxidative and anticarcinogenic effects are attributed to the substance (Bezerra DP et al. 2016). Furthermore, vanillin and vanillic acid inhibit the growth of Proteus mirabilis.

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  1. Bezerra DP et al (2016) Overview of the Role of Vanillin on Redox Status and Cancer Development. Oxide Med Cell Longev 9734816.
  2. Gallage NJ et al (2015) Vanillin bioconversion and bioengineering of the most popular plant flavor and its de novo biosynthesis in the vanilla orchid. Mol Plant 8:40-57.
  3. Kundu A (2017) Vanillin biosynthetic pathways in plants. Planta 245:1069-1078.

Outgoing links (2)

Eugenol; Vanilla real;