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Aroma Chemistry Christmas Chemistry

The Aroma of Christmas Trees

The aroma of pine trees is one that’s evocative of Christmas; one of the responsible molecules, alpha-pinene, has already been featured on the Chemistry Advent Calendar, but here we take a more detailed look at the chemical constituents of the aroma.

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Alcohol Chemistry Christmas Chemistry

The Chemistry of Mulled Wine

There are few things more warming than a mug of mulled wine in the depths of December. Exact recipes may vary, but they all include a common core of ingredients, each of which contributes something to the final flavour. This graphic examines some of the key chemicals that each ingredient adds into the mix, with […]

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Food Chemistry

The Chemistry of Brussels Sprouts: Bitterness & Genetics

There’s one vegetable at the Christmas dinner table that’s always bound to elicit strong and contrary opinions: brussels sprouts. Much like marmite, they seem to conjure up a ‘love it or hate it’ sentiment; however, if you fall into the latter camp, there may actually be a chemical and genetic reason why you can’t stand […]

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Christmas Chemistry Colourful Chemistry

The Chemistry of Poinsettia Plants

Following on from the start of the Chemistry Advent Calendar yesterday, here’s another festive post, this time looking at the chemistry of the poinsettia plant. The red leaves of the poinsettia plant can be used to make a pH indicator, due to their chemical composition; this is actually something of an upgrade on one of the […]

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Food Chemistry

The Chemistry of Ginger – Flavour, Pungency & Medicinal Potential

Ginger is a spice that can be commonly found in supermarkets and in the kitchen, either as the fresh root, or in dried, powdered form. It adds a strong, pungent flavour to dishes as a consequence of a number of chemical compounds it contains; additionally, these compounds are altered when the ginger is cooked or dried, producing […]

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Medicinal Chemistry

The Chemistry of Asthma Inhalers

If you’re an asthma sufferer, you likely need at least one inhaler to keep your symptoms in check – or maybe even two different types. Commonly, those afflicted with asthma will have both a blue and a brown inhaler. Whilst the colours can vary, the purpose of the chemical compounds contained therein differ dependent on […]