Friday, 2 October 2020

September phytochemicals! Why are shrimp and flamingos pink?

Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! Today's suggestion from @YankeeLady76. Spilanthol: a fatty amide from the 'electric daisy' Acmella oleracea. Chewing the plant's flowers releases spilanthol into the mouth, causing a tingling, static-like sensation. Signature cocktail ingredient!

Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! Today: alpha-Eleostearic acid, the primary component of tung oil - a wood finish that is believed to have been used since before the common era. The oil is harvested from Vernicia fordii (Euphorbiaceae!?) - a tree with separate male and female flowers.
Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! Today: miraculin - a glycoprotein from the miracle fruit Synsepalum dulcificum (Sapotaceae; Ericales). It binds to sweetness receptors on the tongue and makes normally sour-tasting food seem sweet, inspiring the name 'miracle berry'. Try it out!
Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! Why are flamingos and shrimp pink? Astaxanthin - a blood-red ketocarotenoid made by microalgae that makes its way up the food chain to chordates and arthropods (among others), giving them a pink hue. An important molecule to consider in aquaculture.

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