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The Chemistry of Elderflowers & Elderberries

Aroma, Colour, & Toxicity


© Compound Interest

The Chemistry of Elderflowers & Elderberries - Aroma, Colour, & Toxicity

In late May and early June, the winding pathways of the English countryside are festooned with the delicate white blooms of the elderflower. As the end of the summer eventually arrives, these blooms will have been transformed, and the bushes will be heaving under the weight of clusters of hundreds of small, purple-black berries. In this post, we take a look at the compounds behind the heady aroma of elderflower, as well as those behind that of elderflower, and also examine the claims of toxicity of elderberries.

If you’re interested in trying out making your own elderflower syrup, the recipe can be obtained from Compound Interest via the link on the right side.

  • alpha-terpineol
  • 3-hexenol
  • hexanal
  • hotrienol
  • nonanal
  • beta-damascenone
  • dihydroedulan
  • phenylacetaldehyde
  • cyanidin 3-sambubioside
  • Sambucus nigra
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