Furaneol is a natural compound with oxygen atoms in ketone, hydroxyl, and ether functional groups. It is associated primarily with the odor of strawberries, but it is also found in food crops as diverse as pineapple, tomato, and buckwheat.
Furaneol contains an asymmetric carbon atom and therefore exists as two enantiomers. The (R)-enantiomer (shown) is the one found in nature; it imparts a much stronger odor (and flavor) to foods than its (S) counterpart.
Methoxyfuraneol (furaneol with a methyl group in place of the hydroxyl hydrogen atom) is also an important strawberry aroma constituent. Both molecules are used in strawberry-scented perfumes and flavoring agents.
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