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How to Get Vanilla Perfume from Cow Dung?
« on: October 07, 2007, 12:52:09 AM »
How to Get Vanilla Perfume from Cow Dung - Perfume from dung
By: Stefan Anitei, Science Editor - Softpedia

How-to-Get-Vanilla-From-Cow-s***-2 - How to Get Vanilla Perfume from Cow Dung? - Weird and Extreme

Well, many things have a nasty smell, but what about that nasty thing smelling like vanilla? If not the whole thing, at least part of it...
A team at the state-run International Medical Center of Japan has managed, in co-operation with Sekisui Chemical Co, to extract vanilla scent from cow dung.

"A one-hour heating and pressuring process allows cow feces to produce vanillin, the main component of the vanilla-bean extract. The vanillin extracted from the feces could be used in products such as shampoo and aromatic candles, but not in food," said lead researcher Mayu Yamamoto.

Vanillin is used to give fragrance to many personal care products, from perfumes, to hair and skin care products. Still, as the vanilla bean crop varies from year to year, this determines also a fluctuation in the vanilla's price.

In 2005, major perfume producers reported that lower prices for vanillin had affected their gains, because of the higher supplies from Madagascar that plummeted the market price for the commodity.

Big perfume companies have developed an array of synthetic vanillin fragrances, but the naturally-derived ingredients and natural alternatives for getting the chemical are welcomed. But the new product will face a tough task in adding aroma to your ice cream, even if it is identical to vanilla bean-extracted vanillin.

"This component is exactly the same, but it would be difficult for people to accept it in food, given the recent rules of disclosing the origins of ingredients," said Yamamoto.

This technology would also solve the issue of the disposal of the huge amounts of dung produced by cattle farming, while bringing a potential revenue.

"The production cost using dung is less than a half that of making vanillin out of vanilla beans. The feces of grass-eating animals is abundant with lignin, the chemical compound that exists in plants and trees and is used to produce vanilla aroma. Lignin is difficult to decompose. Farmers are troubled by how to dispose properly of animal excrement. We tried to solve this from a recycling viewpoint. After taking the vanillin, the processed feces could be returned to the soil," she added.

By 1-2 years a machine handling several tons of dung daily could be available.

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