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Vanillin crystals, LM

  • Stefan Eberhard
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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Photomicrograph of crystals of vanillin. Vanillin is one of the most abundant and important molecules found in vanilla extract which comes from the seed pods of the Vanilla planifola orchid. It is widely used as a flavouring agent in the food industry. To produce this image, a small amount of vanillin was placed on a microscopy slide, covered with a cover glass and then heated until the vanillin melted (about 80 degrees C). Once the heat was removed, the vanillin crystallised in a very thin film and was imaged using polarised light. Horizontal width of image is 1 mm.


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