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Regulatory Framework of Terpenes for Dietary Supplements

Updated: Feb 11, 2022


A diverse class of biomolecules that will be hard to miss this Halloween due to its flavorful and fragrant properties are terpenes. These organic hydrocarbons are produced by a variety of plant species and by some insects. Terpenes are responsible for the taste, aroma, and pharmacological activities of many plants like citrus fruits, coriander, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon grass and, peppermint species.4 Therefore, terpenes and terpenoids (i.e., terpenes that were subjected to heat or oxidation) are often isolated by hydrodistillation as oils (aka “essential oils”) and then used in foods, such as trick-or-treat candy, as well as in beverages and, cosmetics and even air freshene