Essay about Eugenol And Its Effects On The Human Body

Essay about Eugenol And Its Effects On The Human Body

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Eugenol (C10H12O2) is a well-known natural product occurring in many plants like cloves and nutmeg, with a satisfying scent and spicy taste. Eugenol is extracted from numerous aromatic plants and used in perfumeries for spicy, clove-like and oriental-type fragrances. “Alike all phenols, eugenol is an antiseptic; used as disinfectant in mouthwash. Due to its antiseptic and analgesic properties, it is used in dentistry; upon mixing with zinc oxide it forms cement for temporary fillings of the teeth. Furthermore, eugenol and methyl eugenol are used as an insect attractant” (Bendre). Together with other spice components, eugenol is under detailed investigation for its biological effects in the human body. Eugenol plays a vital role in the devolvement of organic, medicinal, natural products, and carbohydrate chemistry.

Eugenol (2-methoxy-4-prop-2-enylphenol) and isoeugenol (2-methoxy-4-[(E)-prop-1-enyl]phenol) both contain similar functional groups such as alcohol, ether, arene, and alkene. Both molecules should also have a similar molar extinction coefficient. The difference between the two is that the alkene is in a different location, see Figure 1. Eugenol and isoeugenol have similar chemical and physical properties. Both of them are a clear to pale yellow oily liquid and boil at the same temperature. Eugenol absorbs in the UV region (100nm to 400nm) due to the arene functional group. The wavelength of maximal absorbance for compounds with arene functional groups is 280 nm (see Figure 2), the observed value was 250 nm with an absorbance value of 3.916 (see Figure 3). The molar extinction coefficient is a measurement of how strongly a substance absorbs light, therefore the larger the value, the greater the absorption will be. W...

... middle of paper ...

...tmeg has four spots, with one spot that has migrated the same distance as the eugenol standard, representing the isoeugenol in the nutmeg sample. The 3 other spots are likely similar compounds to isoeugenol containing an arene functional group, but different functional groups due to different polarities.

100% of the eugenol was probably not extracted from the cloves, because when the supernatant was poured into a different centrifuge tube, some of the eugenol may not have been separated completely when it was in the centrifuge. Also, when boiling, the majority of the ethanol-soluble compounds from the spice may have not been removed. The extraction procedure can result in a better yield by possibly keeping it boil longer or leave it in the centrifuge longer, so that all the eugenol is extracted, resulting in a higher percent mass of eugenol in the sample of cloves.

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