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Plants: Primary Source Of Basic Chemicals

  • Date Submitted: 02/19/2013 11:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.1 
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• Plants are a primary source of basic chemicals for the industrial production of a big group of organic chemicals. These chemicals are used in a variety of studies and experiments.

• Many higher plants produce economically important organic compounds such as oils, resins, natural rubber, gums, waxes, dyes, flavours and fragrances and pesticides.

• Plants have long been used in perfumery as a source of essential oils and aroma (a pleasant smell) compounds.

• Plants are the largest source of fragrant compounds used in perfumery. The sources of these compounds may come from various parts of a plant. A plant can give more than one source of aromatics.

• Bark (outer covering of a tree): The fragrant oil in sassafras (a type of tree) root bark is used either directly or purified for its main part, safrole, which is used in the production of other fragrant compounds.

• Flowers: The largest source of aromatics. Includes the flowers of several species of rose and jasmine, as well as the blossoms of citrus and ylang-ylang trees. Even though ylang-ylang is not a flower, the unopened flower buds of the clove are used commonly. Orchid flowers (a plant with brightly coloured flowers of unusual shapes) are not used commercially to produce essential oils, except in vanilla, an orchid, which must be pollinated first and made into seed pods before use in perfumery.

• Fruits: Fresh fruits such as apples, strawberries, cherries do not produce their odours when extracted; if these fragrance smells are smelt in a perfume, they are synthetic. The most commonly used fruits produce their aromatics from the outer skin; they include citrus such as oranges and lemons. But the outer skin of grapefruit is used for aromatics, more and more commercially used grapefruit aromatics are artificially produced.

• Resins (a sticky substance produced by some trees): Resins are widely used in perfumery. Highly fragrant and antiseptic resins and resin-containing perfumes have been...

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