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Limonene is a monoterpene with a clear colourless liquid at room temperature, a naturally occurring chemical which is the major component in oil of oranges. Limonene is a chiral molecule. There are 2 enantiomers of Limonene.
R-(“)-Limonene or L- Limonene
R-(")- Limonene or D- Limonene
The D-isomer occurring more commonly in nature as the fragrance of oranges is a flavoring agent in food manufacturing. The less common L-isomer is found in mint oils and has a piney, turpentine-like odor.
It is used to make medicine. Limonene is used to promote weight loss, treat cancer and bronchitis. In foods, beverages, and chewing gum, limonene is used as a flavoring agent. In pharmaceuticals, limonene is added to help medicinal ointments and creams to penetrate the skin. In manufacturing, limonene is used as a fragrance, cleaner (solvent), and as an ingredient in water-free hand cleansers.
TOXICITY and SAFTEY INSTRUCTIONS
Limonene applied to skin may cause irritation, but otherwise appears to be safe for human uses. It is very toxic to the aquatic life and should not be swallowed directly.