For anyone who loves a good cup of coffee, they will be surprised to see that the flavor is from a compound known as guaiacol – purified. This compound is a naturally occurring organic compound that is biosynthesized by a variety of organisms. However, this yellowish aromatic oil is usually derived from guaiacum or wood creosote.
Many times the samples darken upon exposure to air and light. Guaiacol is present in wood smoke, resulting from the pyrolysis of lignin. The compound contributes to the flavor of many compounds, e.g. roasted coffee. Guaiacol is used in many instances of food preparation. In preparation of food by smoking, guaiacol is the main chemical responsible for the smoky taste, whereas syringol is responsible for the smoky aroma.
Guaiacol is also one of the main components of the pheromones that cause locust swarming as it is produced within their stomachs as it breaks down food.
There have also been tests of guaiacol – purified that have nothing to do with food preparation. It has not been confirmed, but early testing suggests that this compound may also be used in the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux. If this can be confirmed, it would be a major step in the treatment of this disease without using harsher chemimcals.
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