What is vanillin?
The chemical name for vanillin is 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde and the formula is C8H8O8. The vanillin compound has a molecular weight of 152.15. Vanillin is obtained from vanilla beans used to produce natural vanilla and from byproducts from the production of the paper for artificial vanilla.
It 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 in the preparation of pharmaceutical drugs for Parkinson's disease and hypertension.
The Aztec Indians in Mexico used vanillin as a flavoring ingredient, particularly as an accent in chocolate beverages. The Spanish Explorer Hernando Cortez introduced Europe to Vanillin in the early 1500s. Vanilla became popular as a flavoring ingredient among the aristocracy and particularly in the court of Queen Elizabeth.