Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chiral Terpenes

There are many chiral compounds found in nature. One of the most diverse and common chiral compounds found in nature is called terpenes. Terpenes is a common organic compound found in a wide variety of plants, especially conifer resins, sometimes certain insects can produce the chemical as well. Because of their aromatic hydrocarbons, terpenes have been sought after for many things such as beer, food, aromatic oils, etc.

There are many different terpenes chemicals, but for this blog, the one that will be used in this example is Limonene. Limonene is a cyclic terpenes that is a colorless liquid. It is commonly used in cosmetic products as well as being the main odor constituent of citrus. It is also used in food manufacturing and some medicines, such as a flavoring to mask the bitter taste of alkaloids, and as a fragrant in perfumery. Limonene is also used as botanical insecticide, particularly the (R)-(+)-enantiomer. It is also added on to cleaning products such as hand cleansers to give a lemon-orange fragrance. In natural and alternative medicine, Limonene is sold to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn as well.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing that limonene can be used for so many things from flavoring to insecticide. Kind of creepy actually. I wonder if the word terpene has any significance to turpentine. I know I used to use turpentine for varnishing our boat and I believe it also was plant based. They must have some connection. Interesting though, good work.