The science behind limonene
Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society series Reactions clears up a myth about limonene, a chemical found in the peels of citrus fruits.
Limonene is enantiomeric, which means that is made up of a pair of molecules that have a different 3D arrangement.
Even though these molecules are mirror images of each other, they cannot be superimposed, just like our left and right hands.
It was once believed that lemons and oranges had different odors because they only had one of these molecules.
However, it turns out that these citrus fruits have both limonene enantiomers, and it is a variety of other compounds that gives lemons and oranges their distinctive scents.
Video Credit: American Chemical Society