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. 2001 Nov;49(11):5161-4.
doi: 10.1021/jf010425k.

Bioactive Aromatic Compounds From Leaves and Stems of Vanilla Fragrans


Bioactive Aromatic Compounds From Leaves and Stems of Vanilla Fragrans

R Sun et al. J Agric Food Chem. .


Alcoholic extracts of leaves and stems of Vanilla fragrans were fractionated with ethyl acetate and aqueous butanol. All three fractions of ethyl acetate, butanol, and water were screened for toxic bioactivity against mosquito larvae. The results of these experiments showed that the fractions from the ethyl acetate and butanol phases were both active in the bioassay. Bioactivity of the ethyl acetate fraction was found to be much greater than that from the butanol fraction in mosquito larvae toxicity. The water phase appeared to contain no substances that impaired mosquito larval growth. Repeated column chromatography of the ethyl acetate fraction on silica gel led to the isolation of 4-ethoxymethylphenol (1), 4-butoxymethylphenol (2), vanillin (3), 4-hydroxy-2-methoxycinnamaldehyde (4), and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (5). Compounds 4 and 5 were isolated from Vanilla species for the first time and 2 has not been reported to have been found in a natural form. 4-Ethoxymethylphenol (1) was the predominant compound, but 4-butoxymethylphenol (2) showed the strongest toxicity to mosquito larvae. The structures of the compounds were determined on the basis of their mass spectra and (1)H or (13)C NMR data.

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