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Originally published March 10 2014

Many citrus-flavored food products get their taste from artificial chemicals derived from turpentine

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Turpentine, an important industrial chemical extracted from the resin of pine trees, is so toxic if inhaled that it will not only irritate the skin and eyes but also damage the respiratory and central nervous systems.

If consumed, turpentine can cause kidney failure. It is this dangerous defensive plant compound that forms the basis of the citrus flavor in many popular consumer products such as desserts and beverages. That's because turpentine is an easily acquired member of an important aromatic and flavoring chemical family: the terpenes and terpenoids.

Terpenes form the base of many essential oils that give plants and flowers their aromas and taste, and are used in turn as flavoring in industrial food manufacturing and as fragrance in aromatherapy or perfumery.

Vitamin A is a chemical in the terpene family, as are the distinctive flavoring compounds of hops (a beer ingredient).

Because terpene aromas are so easily detected by the human nose, it is also relatively easy to artificially synthesize new flavoring molecules in chemicals from that family.


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