Finished Project



Biotechnological production of vanillin

Van1Vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) is beside menthol one of the most frequently used aromatic compound for the production of flavors for foods and fragrances for perfumes. It is the typical flavor of chocolate, milkshakes, desserts, cakes, pastries, and many more.

Natural vanillin, which is extracted from the pods of the Bourbonvanille, is seldom used for the flavoring of the above mentioned products, since it has a very high price of about 4000 US$/kg. For this purpose artificial vanillin is more suitable, which has a price of only about 12 US§/kg. Artificial vanillin is synthesized chemically in a range of 12 000 tonns per year. This synthesis is based on the work of F. Tiemann and W. Haarmann from 1874 who found that vanillin could be synthesized from precursors like isoeugenol, lignin and from the petrochemical guaiacol.

Due to the increasing demand for healthy and natural food, there is a growing interest to produce vanillin from natural raw materials by biotransformation, which can then be regarded as a "natural" aroma chemical.