Wednesday, 9 October 2019

September phytochemicals - what gives Fresca its fresh flavor?

Part of the chemical basis for the earthy smell following rain: geosmin - a terpenoid compound produced by some bacteria but also by beets (Beta vulgaris) as part of their signature earthy flavor. Thanks @mishaploid for another awesome #PhytochemicalFriday suggestion!

Psoralen - a naturally-occurring compound in fig leaves, celery, & parsley (among others) - is a flat molecule capable of squeezing into the DNA double helix and impeding DNA replication. It appears to be responsible for fig leaf photodermatitis. #PhytochemicalFriday (the 13th)!

Nootkatone, a component in the signature aroma of grapefruit, has a variety of insecticidal properties, protecting the various plants that make it. It's non-toxic to humans though (GRAS), and is a key component of various products, including Fresca! #PhytochemicalFriday

Happy #PhytochemicalFriday from @UMDSwenson in Duluth, MN! Today: tremetone, a component of the toxic mixture tremetol from white snakeroot (Ageratina altissima). It can poison consumers of milk from cows that've eaten the plant - killed many in the 1800s (Abe Lincoln's mother!?)