Economic Botany

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 41–47

Coumarin in vanilla extracts: Its detection and significance

  • Robin J. Marles
  • CÉsar M. Compadre
  • Norman R. Farnsworth

DOI: 10.1007/BF02859345

Cite this article as:
Marles, R.J., Compadre, C.M. & Farnsworth, N.R. Econ Bot (1987) 41: 41. doi:10.1007/BF02859345


Coumarin was a component of some commercial vanilla preparations until banned in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in 1954 because of evidence of hepatotoxicity in animals. However, in the present investigation coumarin was detected by capillary column gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in Mexican vanilla extracts commercially available or introduced in the United States by tourists or travelers. The significance of the presence of coumarin in Mexican vanilla extracts is discussed in light of recent evidence suggesting a lack of significant coumarin toxicity in humans.

Copyright information

© New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin J. Marles
  • CÉsar M. Compadre
  • Norman R. Farnsworth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, and Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of PharmacyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicago

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