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Flavor Bites: Dimethyl Sulfide

By: John Wright
Posted: October 21, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of P&F magazine.

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Dimethyl sulfide (FEMA# 2746, CAS# 75-18-3) smells of boiled cabbage. Now, I quite like boiled cabbage but even I have to admit that such an odor description hints at a relatively restricted range of uses. However, in practice the exact opposite is true. Dimethyl sulfide is potentially one of the most useful raw materials available to flavorists. It has a unique character and is extraordinarily difficult to replace. The closest alternative is dimethyl disulfide (FEMA# 3536, CAS# 624-92-0), which is less volatile but adds a rather dirty note to the cabbage character and has a much more restricted range of useful applications.

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