Molecule of the Day

Methyl anthanilate occurs naturally in grapes, along with a suite of other aroma compounds, which combine to give that complex, earthy, bright grape juice aroma.


If you use it in a prepared food at high concentration, as the lone or primary flavorant, however, you end up with the cloying, floral aroma of grape soda.


  1. #1 joeylawn
    December 15, 2008

    I was just thinking about this molecule earlier today. strange….

  2. #2 Jita
    December 15, 2008

    Urgh, Grape Soda. I love grapes, really I do, but anything “grape-flavored” gets the veto from me.

  3. #3 evilfruitlord
    December 16, 2008

    It also works as a bird repellent. And it’s what they use to make perfectly good apples into repulsive Grapples.

  4. #4 Julie Stahlhut
    December 16, 2008

    I’ve always thought that purple irises, but not other colors, smell strongly of grape soda. My assumption has always been that I associate the grape-soda color with the fragrance, but could it be that some purple irises produce this compound?

  5. #5 lithiumdiisopropylamide
    January 3, 2009

    it has a melting point of 24C according to wiki…presumably it has some solubility in water, probably much better in aqueous phosphoric acid. suck an old compound, i wonder if the food flavouring companies have found newer compounds…is this the only thing out there that smells grape?….thanks

  6. #6 Michelle Krell Kydd
    February 9, 2009

    Methyl anthranilate also occurs in orange blossom and is a molecule that is used in floral compositions in perfumery (it is also a tricky ingredient as it can sometime affect the stability of a product). Americans have a tendency to notice the “grape” element in methyl anthranilate first, which probably goes back to childhood memories of grape juice. The French smell orange blossom when they smell the molecule because of the way orange blossom is used in fine fragrance, baby products and in cooking (orange blossom water).

  7. #7 LtStorm
    February 16, 2009

    I need to make some of this stuff, as a lab poutpurri. Though I doubt it’d be strong enough to mask the other smells being generated around me. One guy in my lab has been working with valeric acid, while the lab across the hall has been working with some kind of thiol, the two smells mingling in the hall between them to give it a nice simulation of what it would be like if a skunk crawled up Satan’s ***hole and died.

  8. #8 Lori Hensley
    December 15, 2009

    would you happen to know why my 8 week old, male, white, chihuahua’s face smells like grape soda? please write me back and let me know. thank you lori hensley

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