The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ

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Vanillin is an compound that occurs naturally in plants. The most common of these is the vanilla bean (Vanilla Planifolia). Vanillin is found in flax fibers from which linen yarn is made. Specifically it is found in a complex chemical part of the secondary cell walls of the flax fibers called lignin. Vanillin decomposes over a long period of time and it is possible to derive some estimates of the age of limit fibers.

The technical name for the chemical compound vanillin is 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde and the formula is C8H8O8. Vanillin has a molecular weight of 152.15.

Vanillin is obtained from vanilla beans and from byproducts from the production of the paper. Vanilla produced from bean-vannillin is called natural vanilla produced  from other means is called artificial vanilla.

Vanillin is used as a flavoring additive for food and beverages and as an aromatic ingredient in candles, air fresheners, perfumes, incense and potpourri. Vanillin is also used for Parkinson's disease and hypertension drugs.

Aztec Indians used vanillin as a flavoring ingredient, particularly as an accent for chocolate.  Hernando Cortez, the Spanish explorer, introduced vanillin to Europe in the 1500s.



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