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The Chemistry of Plums & Prunes

Constipation & Chewing Gum


© Compound Interest

The Chemistry of Plums & Prunes

Dried plums, more commonly referred to as prunes, have a reputation for being a good remedy for constipation. This is, in part, due to their high fibre content – but is there actually any proof for their efficacy? And if so, are there additional chemical reasons? This graphic takes a look at the facts, and also finds an unusual connection between prunes and chewing gum.

Plums are in season in the UK at the moment, which is what prompts the topic for today’s graphic. There’s plenty of interesting chemistry pertaining to them before we even move to discuss prunes. As with many fruits, a huge range of volatile compounds are contained in plums, and a number of these have been shown to contribute to their aroma. Benzaldehyde, gamma-decalactone, linalool, and methyl cinnamate are just a small number of the compounds that contribute. Individually, these compounds can have a variety of aromas – it’s the particular combination of them that produces the fruity plum scent.

  • constipation
  • cyanogenic glycosides
  • plums
  • Benzaldehyde
  • gamma-decalactone
  • Linalool
  • methyl cinnamate
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