87816 - Natural Products, Aromas and Fragrances Chemistry

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student has a knowledge of the most important biomolecules, as carbohydrates, lipids, aromatic polyketides, terpenes, peptides and proteins, alkaloids, antraquinones, flavonoids and terpenes. A particular attention will be devoted to the study of structure, biosynthesis and purification methods of natural compounds that are used in cosmetic formulations and are obtained from plants. The student will also learn the chemical properties of the molecules used in the preparation of aromas and fragrances.

Course contents

The chemical components of plants, an overview: hydrocarbons, functionalized hydrocarbons, terpenes, aromatics, carbohydrates, amines, alkaloids, amino acids, nonprotein amino acids, proteins.

Plant natural product biosynthesis: Lipids metabolism. Carbohydrates metabolism. Amino acids metabolism. Nucleic acids metabolism. Metabolism includes anabolism and katabolism. How and why these compounds are synthesized by plants.

Individual fragrance and flavor materials: aliphatic compounds, acyclic terpenes, cyclic terpenes, other cycloaliphatic compounds, aromatic compounds, phenols and phenols derivatives. 

Traditional, analytical and preparative separations of natural plants with several examples.

Characterization of natural products: nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy.


L. J. Cseke, A. Kirakosyan, P. B. kaufman, S. L. Warber, J. A. Duke, H. L. Brielman - Natural Products from Plants Second Edition - CRC Taylor & Francis

H. Surburg, J. Panten - Common Fragrance and Flavour Materials - Wiley-VHC Verlag

Teaching methods

The topics listed in the program will be fully covered. In the exercise module, students will do experiments of aromas and fragrances extraction, working in pairs.

Assessment methods

The preparation is tested by a oral exam.

Teaching tools

Overhead projector, PC, blackboard

Office hours

See the website of Claudia Tomasini