Mar. 09, 2022
Benzaldehyde is an aromatic compound with a distinct odour resembling almonds. It can be extracted from a variety of natural sources and can also be synthesised by liquid phase chlorination of toluene. There is no chemical distinction between these two types of benzaldehyde.
Benzaldehyde is a widely used compound in the chemical industry. It also finds usage in several other items. The most common applications of benzaldehyde that make it such an important compound are listed below-
1. The most common use of benzaldehyde is to provide almond flavouring to items. It is used in food and beverages to provide the scent of almonds. Various scented products also use benzaldehyde as an additive for having a distinct odour.
2. The industrial usage of benzaldehyde is that it acts as an intermediate in the production of several organic compounds. It is a precursor to various chemical additives, plastics, and pharmaceutical products.
3. Another significant use of the odour of benzaldehyde is as a bee repellent. It is used to draw the bees away from a honeycomb in order to extract the honey from these structures.
4. Some cosmetic products and personal care products also contain benzaldehyde.
5. Benzaldehyde is also used in the production of dyes (acridine and aniline dyes), soaps, and perfumes.
6. It is also used in cakes and baked goods as almond extract. Benzaldehyde is also used in additives like antibacterial and antifungal preservatives.
7. It is an intermediary product in the formation of compounds like cinnamic acid, benzoic acid, etc.
8. It is used as a solvent for oils, resins, ethers, etc.
The flavouring and fragrance of benzaldehyde are the reason for its widespread use in several industries.
Benzaldehyde is produced both naturally and synthetically. The natural source of this organic compound is amygdalin. This chemical compound can be found in items like bitter almonds, cherries, peaches and apricot pits. It is also found in a plant known as Chinese cassica.
Amygdalin can be broken down with the enzyme emulsion. This yields benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). While HCN is a lethal poison, benzaldehyde is a compound that finds several applications such as a flavoring agent and perfume, etc.
When compared with propanol, benzaldehyde is considered to be less reactive than the former or more stable. This is mainly because benzaldehyde is a compound that has an aromatic character, whereas, in the case of propanol, it has an aliphatic character. The carbon atom of the carbonyl group present in propanol is more electrophilic than the one of the carbonyl group present in benzaldehyde. As a result of the resonance, the polarity of the carbonyl group is reduced in benzaldehyde, thereby making it less reactive than propanol generally tends to be.
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