My Molecule: Carvone

 

This week, our Education Content Producer Becky Davies investigates her favourite molecule, Carvone!

As a foodie, my favourite molecule has to be a food-based one! And, of all of the molecules responsible for delicious flavours, my favourite has to be carvone.

What is Carvone?

There are two mirror image forms of the carvone molecule:

 

Carvone
© Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are called enantiomers, and whilst they look like they could be made to appear the same, they actually can’t – a bit like you can’t exactly overlap your left hand with your right hand – go on, try it!

The thing I love about this molecule is that these two versions, called R-(–)-carvone and S-(+)-carvone, smell and taste different – even though they are so similar! S-(+)-carvone smells like caraway and R-(–)-carvone smells like spearmint.

Carvone

 

 

 

 

 
If I had to pick I’d have to say that S-(+)-carvone is my favourite – feta marinated in olive oil and caraway seeds is delicious!

 


 

Is there a molecule that tickles your taste buds? You can enter our competition now and tells us about your favourite molecule to be in with a chance of winning a Nano Simbox VR workshop for your school! Join in on twitter too with #MyMolecule.