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What is anethole ?

Anethole is a terpenoid, found in the essential oils of anise (Pimpinella anisum), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and several other plants. The name is derived from Dill (Anethum graveolens), in which anethole is only a minor flavour component.

Structure of anethole

Although two isomers exist (see image above), only the trans-isomer is commonly found in plants. The cis-isomer does not have the anise-like flavour.

Anethole (C10H12O) is used in flavours for chewing gum and anise flavour alcoholic drinks. Also in liquorice confectionery and in honey, nut, sarsaparilla and various spice flavours. It is also used to sweeten perfumes for soaps and detergents, household products and industrial deodorants. It blends well in floral and woody fragrances.

Anethole is not or poorly soluble in water, but readily soluble in alcohol or oils.

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