What’s Inside #WineWednesday: Ethyl Octanoate
Let’s keep it simple.
Bridges. They connect. We usually think of bridges connecting us from one place to another. While they might look different- short ones, long ones, architectural beauties, or merely functional- they all serve the basic function to connect.
Just like there are different sized bridges, there are different sizes of connections. Some bridges connect cities and states while others connect countries. On the grandest scale, there are bridges like the Bosphorus Bridge in Turkey that connects continents like the geographic border between Europe and Asia. On the smallest scale of things, there are molecule bridges that connect two other molecules.
We’ve covered a lot of Ethyl “somethings” in our past WineWednesday’s, because like the iconic bridges across the world, this class of molecules, known as Esters, connects two sets of molecules to create fruity-smelling, iconic molecules found in everything from wine to perfume! This week’s molecule, ethyl octanoate, is not much different. The molecule connects two other molecules to form a fruity and waxy smelling treat!
Facing the Science
If Esters act as the bridges for the molecule world, what’s the difference between ethyl butanoate and ethyl octanoate? Remember, keep it simple. While most bridges simply connect two places, there are some that have multiple “stops” along the way- either shops filled with merchants like the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, or cul-de-sacs built in to stop and stare at the surrounding beauty like the Golden Gate Bridge. Ethyl octanoate is similar in that regard: it connects two molecules with multiple “stops” (or Carbon atoms) along the way.
So, what’s inside #WineWednesday:
Chemical Name: Ethyl Octanoate
Smell: Waxy & fruity
Uses: While the molecule class, Esters, acts as the bridge of the molecule world, the molecule itself, ethyl octanoate, is busy making things taste and smell both fruity and waxy. Waxy just means the taste is rounder and a bit creamier. Because of that, ethyl octanoate is used in many fruit flavorings and plant oils. It’s used to evoke a taste profile resembling apricot and pineapple. While working to make your fruit fruity, is also helps to make your cheese creamy.
Where it’s found in nature: Ethyl octanoate is found naturally in many products. It’s naturally occurring in your game day beer as well as your slice of avocado toast the next morning. Also, you’ll find it naturally in your cheese charcuterie board paired perfectly with your wine tasting flight from Napa Valley, France or even Ava!
Uses in Product Goods: Flavor and scent makers love the complexity of ethyl octanoate. It’s used to create fruity scent profiles from strawberry to pear and pineapple to guava. It’s also used to round out flavors and create creamy textures in each sip that evoke the “waxy” feeling in a good Chenin Blanc.