Controlled release of volatiles under mild reaction conditions: from nature to everyday products.
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Volatile organic compounds serve in nature as semiochemicals for communication between species, and are often used as flavors and fragrances in our everyday life. The quite limited longevity of olfactive perception has led to the development of pro-perfumes or pro-fragrances--ideally nonvolatile and odorless fragrance precursors which release the active volatiles by bond cleavage. Only a limited amount of reaction conditions, such as hydrolysis, temperature changes, as well as the action of light, oxygen, enzymes, or microorganisms, can be used to liberate the many different chemical functionalities. This Review describes the controlled chemical release of fragrances and discusses additional challenges such as precursor stability during product storage as well as some aspects concerning toxicity and biodegradability. As the same systems can be applied in different areas of research, the scope of this Review covers fragrance delivery as well as the controlled release of volatiles in general.
PMID: 17605134 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]