Piperonal (Heliotropin)-120-57-0

Piperonal Chemical Structure

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What is Piperonal

Piperonal, also known as Heliotropin is an organic compound structurally related to aromatic aldehydes such as benzaldehyde and vanillin. The compound was named Heliotropin after the ‘cherry pie’ notes found in the fragrance of the heliotrope flower (despite the fact that the chemical is not present in the flower’s true aroma).

It occurs naturally in various plants including dill, vanilla, violet flowers, and black pepper. It has been isolated from Piper nigrum. It has a role as a plant metabolite, a fragrance and an insect repellent.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading supplier of Piperonal with ISO certification.
Name of Product Piperonal
IUPAC Name 1,3-benzodioxole-5-carbaldehyde
Synonyms Piperonyl aldehyde; Heliotropine; Heliotropin; 1,3-Benzodioxole-5-carbaldehyde; Piperonale; 3,4-Methylenedioxybenzaldehyde
CAS No 120-57-0
Molecular Formula C8H6O3
Molecular Weight 150.13 g/mol
Pubchem CID 8438

Chemical Properties

SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance White or colourless lustrous crystals
2 Taste Bittersweet taste
3 Odor Sweet, flowery odor reminiscent of heliotrope
4 Solubility Slightly soluble in water, Soluble in organic solvents
5 Melting Point 37 °C (99 °F; 310 K)
6 pH Solution (1 to 10) acid to litmus
7 Storage Stable under recommended storage conditions
Turns red brown on exposure to light


  • Due to its floral odour, Piperonal is commonly used in fragrances and artificial flavours. Piperonyl acetate is a synthetic cherry flavouring.
  • Piperonal is used in the synthesis of pharmaceutical drugs like Tadalafil,  L-DOPA, and Atrasentan.
  • It’s a common additive in low-cost vanilla flavours and candies.


Q. How does Piperonal react with Pinacolone?

Piperonal undergoes Aldol condensation reaction with Pinacolone in the presence of sodium hydroxide, and ethanol as a solvent to form an adduct.

Q. How is Heliotropin or Piperonal synthesized?

Sassafras oil and, in some cases, safrole are used as starting materials for the synthesis of Heliotropin. It is prepared by the oxidation of isosafrole. Heliotropin can also be synthesised from catechol or guaiacol by a number of multistep processes.

Q. Is piperonal harmful?

Piperonal causes skin irritation and may also cause eye irritation, respiratory and digestive tract irritation, and central nervous system depression.

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