• VanillinVanillin


Vanillin's cas code is 121-33-5

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Product Description

Vanillin Basic information

Summary Vanilla extract Important spices Physicochemical properties Action and use Side Effects Vanitrope Industrial production methods vanillin Content analysis Toxicity Limited use Industry development Chemical property Uses Methods of production

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Vanillin Chemical Properties

Melting point 

81-83 °C(lit.)

Boiling point 

170 °C15 mm Hg(lit.)



vapor density 

5.3 (vs air)

vapor pressure 

>0.01 mm Hg ( 25 °C)



refractive index 

1.4850 (estimate)


147 °C

storage temp. 



methanol: 0.1 g/mL, clear


Crystalline Powder


pKa 7.396±0.004(H2O I = 0.00 t = 25.0±1.0) (Reliable)


White to pale yellow


4.3 (10g/l, H2O, 20℃)

Water Solubility 

10 g/L (25 ºC)


Air & Light Sensitive



JECFA Number





Stable. May discolour on exposure to light. Moisture-sensitive. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents, perchloric acid.

CAS DataBase Reference

121-33-5(CAS DataBase Reference)

NIST Chemistry Reference

Benzaldehyde, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-(121-33-5)

EPA Substance Registry System

Vanillin (121-33-5)

Vanillin Safety Information

Hazard Codes 


Risk Statements 


Safety Statements 



UN 2924 3/8/PG II

WGK Germany 




Autoignition Temperature

>400 °C







HS Code 


Hazardous Substances Data

121-33-5(Hazardous Substances Data)


LD50 orally in rats, guinea pigs: 1580, 1400 mg/kg (Jenner)

Vanillin Usage And Synthesis

Action and use

Flavors: vanillin is edible flavouring agent, with vanilla bean aroma and strong desire for milk fragrance, is an important and indispensable raw material for food additives industry, widely used in all need to increase milk fragrance flavor flavoring in food, such as cake, cold drinks, chocolate, candy, biscuits, instant noodles, bread and tobacco, flavoring liquor, toothpaste, soap, cosmetics, perfume, ice cream, drinks and cosmetics play aroma and flavour. Also it can be used for soap, toothpaste, perfume, rubber, plastic, pharmaceutical products. It Accord with FCCIV standard.


AD is 0~10mg/kg (FAO/WHO, 1994). 
LD50 is 1.58g/kg (rat, oral).
MNL is 1g/kg (rat, oral).
GRAS (FDA, 182.602000).
According to the European Union Expert Committee on February 24, reports that high dose can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and even damage the liver, kidney, therefore, they are discussing to set lower allowed dose.

Limited use

FEMA (mg/kg): soft drinks 63; cold 95; candy 200; baking food 220; pudding class 120, chewing gum, 270; chocolate 970; decorating layer 150; margarine 0.20; syrup 330~20000.
According to the provisions of FAO/WHO: The allowable amount is 70mg/kg for fast food, of canned baby foods and cereals (1992).

Chemical property

White needle crystal, with Fragrant smell. Soluble in water of 125 times, 20 times of ethylene glycol and 2 times of 95% ethanol, insoluble in chloroform.

Chemical Properties

Vanillin has a characteristic, creamy, vanilla-like odor with a very sweet taste.

Chemical Properties

White, crystalline needles; sweetish smell. Soluble in 125 parts water, in 20 parts glycerol, and in 2 parts 95% alcohol; soluble in chloroform and ether. Combustible.

Chemical Properties

White or cream, crystalline needles or powder with characteristic vanilla odor and sweet taste.


Vanillin occurs widely in nature; it has been reported in the essential oil of Java citronella (Cymbopogon nardus Rendl.), in benzoin, Peru balsam, clove bud oil and chiefly vanilla pods (Vanilla planifolia, V. tahitensis, V. pompona); more that 40 vanilla varieties are cultivated; vanillin is also present in the plants as glucose and vanillin. Reported found in guava, feyoa fruit, many berries, asparagus, chive, cinnamon, ginger, Scotch spearmint oil, nutmeg, crisp and rye bread, butter, milk, lean and fatty fish, cured pork, beer, cognac, whiskies, sherry, grape wines, rum, cocoa, coffee, tea, roast barley, popcorn, oatmeal, cloudberry, passion fruit, beans, tamarind, dill herb and seed, sake, corn oil, malt, wort, elderberry, loquat, Bourbon and Tahiti vanilla and chicory root.


Vanillin is a flavorant made from synthetic or artificial vanilla which can be derived from lignin of whey sulfite liquors and is syntheti- cally processed from guaiacol and eugenol. the related product, ethyl vanillin, has three and one-half times the flavoring power of vanillin. vanillin also refers to the primary flavor ingredient in vanilla, which is obtained by extraction from the vanilla bean. vanillin is used as a substitute for vanilla extract, with application in ice cream, desserts, baked goods, and beverages at 60–220 ppm.


An intermediate and analytical reagent.


Pharmaceutic aid (flavor). As a flavoring agent in confectionery, beverages, foods and animal feeds. Fragance and flavor in cosmetics. Reagent for synthesis. Source of L-dopa.


The primary component of Vanilla bean extract.


Labelled Vanillin. Occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods and plants such as orchids; major commercial source of natural vanillin is from vanilla bean extract. Synthetically produced in-bulk fro m lignin-based byproduct of paper processes or from guaicol.


ChEBI: A member of the class of benzaldehydes carrying methoxy and hydroxy substituents at positions 3 and 4 respectively.

Production Methods

Vanillin occurs naturally in many essential oils and particularly in the pods of Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla tahitensis. Industrially, vanillin is prepared from lignin, which is obtained from the sulfite wastes produced during paper manufacture. Lignin is treated with alkali at elevated temperature and pressure, in the presence of a catalyst, to form a complex mixture of products from which vanillin is isolated. Vanillin is then purified by successive recrystallizations.
Vanillin may also be prepared synthetically by condensation, in weak alkali, of a slight excess of guaiacol with glyoxylic acid at room temperature. The resultant alkaline solution, containing 4- hydroxy-3-methoxymandelic acid is oxidized in air, in the presence of a catalyst, and vanillin is obtained by acidification and simultaneous decarboxylation. Vanillin is then purified by successive recrystallizations.


In addition to vanillin (approximately 3%), vanilla contains other aromatic principles: vanillin, piperonal, eugenol, glucovanillin, vanillic acid, anisic acid and anisaldehyde. Although vanillin is associated with the characteristic fragrance of the plant, the quality of vanilla bean is not associated with the vanillin content. Bourbon beans contain a high amount of vanillin compared to Mexican and Tahiti beans.

Aroma threshold values

Detection: 29 ppb to 1.6 ppm; recognition: 4 ppm

Taste threshold values

Taste characteristics at 10 ppm: sweet, typical vanilla-like, marshmallow, creamy-coumarin, caramellic with a powdery nuance.

Air & Water Reactions

Slowly oxidizes on exposure to air. . Slightly water soluble.

Reactivity Profile

Vanillin can react violently with Br2, HClO4, potassium-tert-butoxide, (tert-chloro-benzene + NaOH), (formic acid + Tl(NO3)3). . Vanillin is an aldehyde. Aldehydes are readily oxidized to give carboxylic acids. Flammable and/or toxic gases are generated by the combination of aldehydes with azo, diazo compounds, dithiocarbamates, nitrides, and strong reducing agents. Aldehydes can react with air to give first peroxo acids, and ultimately carboxylic acids. These autoxidation reactions are activated by light, catalyzed by salts of transition metals, and are autocatalytic (catalyzed by the products of the reaction).

Fire Hazard

Flash point data for Vanillin are not available, however Vanillin is probably combustible.

Safety Profile

Moderately toxic by ingestion, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and intravenous routes. Experimental reproductive effects. Human mutation data reported. Can react violently with Br2, HClO4, potassium-tert-butoxide, tert- chlorobenzene + NaOH, formic acid + thallium nitrate. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes. See also ALDEHYDES.

Chemical Synthesis

From the waste (liquor) of the wood-pulp industry; vanillin is extracted with benzene after saturation of the sulfite waste liquor with CO2. Vanillin is also derived naturally through fermentation.


Vanillin oxidizes slowly in moist air and is affected by light.
Solutions of vanillin in ethanol decompose rapidly in light to give a yellow-colored, slightly bitter tasting solution of 6,6’-dihydroxy- 5,5’-dimethoxy-1,1’-biphenyl-3,3’-dicarbaldehyde. Alkaline solutions also decompose rapidly to give a brown-colored solution. However, solutions stable for several months may be produced by adding sodium metabisulfite 0.2% w/v as an antioxidant.
The bulk material should be stored in a well-closed container, protected from light, in a cool, dry place.

Purification Methods

Crystallise vanillin from water or aqueous EtOH, or by distillation in vacuo.[Beilstein 8 IV 1763.]


Incompatible with acetone, forming a brightly colored compound. A compound practically insoluble in ethanol is formed with glycerin.

Regulatory Status

GRAS listed. Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (oral solutions, suspensions, syrups, and tablets). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.

Vanillin Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Sodium hydroxide-->Hydrochloric acid-->Sulfuric acid-->Sodium carbonate-->Chloroform-->Phenol-->N,N-Dimethylaniline-->Hexamethylenetetramine-->Calcium hydroxide-->Chloral-->N-Methylaniline-->o-Anisidine-->SULFUROUS ACID-->Glyoxylic acid-->Guaiacol-->Eugenol-->Benzenesulfonic acid-->LIGNOSULFONIC ACID, CALCIUM SALT-->Safrole-->LIGNIN, ALKALI-->DIMETHYLANILINE-->VANILLA EXTRACT-->Ligninsulfonate

Preparation Products

3-Methyl-1-butanol-->(3R,4S)-1-Benzoyl-3-(1-methoxy-1-methylethoxy)-4-phenyl-2-azetidinone-->3-O-Methyldopamine hydrochloride-->3-Iodo-4,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde-->6-HYDROXY-7-METHOXY-4-PHENYLCOUMARIN-->Curcumin-->Veratraldehyde-->3-Methoxysalicylaldehyde-->3,4,5-Trimethoxybenzaldehyde-->4-BENZYLOXY-3-METHOXYBENZALDEHYDE-->Capsaicin-->Isovanillin-->S-(-)-Carbidopa-->Methyldopa-->1,2,4-Trimethoxybenzene-->Diaveridine-->4-[(2-CHLORO-6-FLUOROBENZYL)OXY]-3-METHOXYBENZALDEHYDE-->Dopamine-->1-(4-HYDROXY-3-METHOXYPHENYL)-2-NITROETHENE-->TERT-BUTYL 4-FORMYL-2-METHOXYPHENYL CARB ONATE, 99-->2,3-Dimethoxybenzaldehyde-->LEMONGRASS OIL, WEST INDIAN TYPE-->2-BROMO-4-FORMYL-6-METHOXYPHENYL ACETATE-->VANILLA EXTRACT-->2,4,5-Trimethoxynitrobenzene-->2,3-DIBROMO-4-HYDROXY-5-METHOXYBENZALDEHYDE-->trans-Ferulic acid-->4-Hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylamine hydrochloride-->5-Bromovanillin-->3,4-Dihydroxybenzoic acid-->4-(2-AMINO-ETHYL)-2-METHOXY-PHENOL-->CITRONELLYL PROPIONATE-->5-Hydroxyvanillin-->B-(3,4-DIMETHOXYPHENYL)-A-CYANOPROPIONALDEHYDE DIMETHYLACETAL-->CITRONELLYL FORMATE

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