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Methyl eugenol (allylveratrol) is a natural chemical compound classified as a phenylpropene, a type of phenylpropanoid. It is the methyl ether of eugenol and is important to insect behavior and pollination.[1] It is found in various essential oils.

Methyl eugenol
Skeletal formula of methyl eugenol
Ball-and-stick model of the methyl eugenol molecule
Preferred IUPAC name
Other names
Eugenol methyl ether
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.002.022
EC Number 202-223-0
Molar mass 178.231 g·mol−1
Density 0.98 g/cm3
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Methyl eugenol is found in a number of plants (over 450 species from 80 families including both angiosperm and gymnosperm families) and has a role in attracting pollinators. About 350 plant species have them as a component of floral fragrance. Their ability to attract insects, particularly Bactrocera fruit flies was first noticed in 1915 by F. M. Howlett. The compound may have evolved in response to pathogens, as methyl eugenol has some antifungal activity. It also repels many insects.[2]

As of October 2018, the US FDA withdrew authorization for the use of methyl eugenol as a synthetic flavoring substance for use in food because petitioners provided data demonstrating that these additives induce cancer in laboratory animals. FDA noted the action was despite its continuing stance that this substance does not pose a risk to public health under the conditions of its intended use.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tan, Keng Hong; Nishida, Ritsuo (2012). "Methyl Eugenol: Its Occurrence, Distribution, and Role in Nature, Especially in Relation to Insect Behavior and Pollination". Journal of Insect Science. 12 (56): 1–60. doi:10.1673/031.012.5601. PMC 3500151. PMID 22963669.
  2. ^ Nishida, Ritsuo; Tan, Keng Hong (2012-01-01). "Methyl eugenol: Its occurrence, distribution, and role in nature, especially in relation to insect behavior and pollination". Journal of Insect Science. 12 (1): 1–60. doi:10.1673/031.012.5601. PMC 3500151. PMID 22963669.
  3. ^ 83 FR 50490