Daily Chemistry


Terpenes are open chain or cyclic compounds. They are usually oxygenated, such as aldehydes, alcohols and ketones.

They are found in living organisms. Its molecules are large and complex and can have 10, 15, 20, 30 or 40 carbons.

Their daily uses are in the industries of perfumes, cosmetics, chewing gum, detergents, medicines, animal feed, toothpaste and others.

One of the terpenes is extracted from the camphor tree. It is used in talcum powder with anti-itch function to relieve itching. The terpene is also found in the orange peel.

In drops, citronellal terpene is found, which is obtained from eucalyptus oil.

In chewing gum, menthol is extracted from menthol leaves. This same terpene is also widely used in candies, mouthwashes, talcum powder and lotions.

Another terpene is vanillin phenolic aldehyde, which is the vanilla flavoring ingredient in ice cream. It is also used as a food flavoring.

Mircene and carvone terpenes replace the condiments used in cooking in canned or pickled foods.

Linalool and ionone are terpenes used in body lotions, soaps and colonies. It has the floral fragrance of an alcohol and a ketone. They are obtained from lavender and violet flowers.

Another terpene is found in yellow, orange and red vegetables. We call these terpenes carotenoids.

Lycopene is a hydrocarbon molecule responsible for the red color of tomatoes and peppers.


Carotene is the terpene that characterizes the color of carrots.