One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fragrant compound which is the essential constituent of vanilla.
Alternative name: 3-methoxy-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde; chemical formula: CH₃OC₆H₃(OH)CHO
- ‘Organic texts often cite flavor chemicals such as vanillin from vanilla as examples of naturally occurring organic chemicals that we encounter every day.’
- ‘The compound responsible for this distinctive, complex perfume is vanillin, contained in thousands of pinpoint seeds in the seed pods of a particular orchid plant.’
- ‘The best pods are dark brown or black, rather wrinkled and flexible, with a light coating of white crystals of aromatic vanillin.’
- ‘After this time the surface of the fruit will be covered in crystals of glucose and vanillin and the fruits themselves have become black from oxidization but are still flexible.’
- ‘Medieval linens show the presence of vanillin in chemical tests, but the linen in the Dead Sea scrolls and other very old linens do not.’
Mid 19th century; from vanilla + -in.
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