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Final nail in thujone's coffin?

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Final nail in thujone's coffin? « Previous Next »

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Absinthedrinker
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 12:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O. Chlorophyll is a large complex molecule which is known to be unstable over time and degrades if exposed to light. It is also designed to change state - that is how photosynthesis works. Thujone is a simple small molecule which is stable under the conditions likely to be found in a vintage absinthe bottle.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Monday, October 7, 2002 - 5:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I FINALLY was able to read the article. (Thanks, MD).

Ian, why do you say:

"Whether it (thujone) could isomerise into another compound or break down I don't know although I feel that it is unlikely."

What makes the thujone molecule in absinthe different from the chlorophyll molecule, that we know changes over time, as shown by the shift from green to "dead leaf" color?
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 4:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm sure this has been brought up before, maybe the alcohol is affecting my memory more than the absinthe (I've had to resort to pastis for a few months now)...

Is there not an excellent 'restraint of trade' case to be made through the WTO against countries that persist in banning absinthe?
Timba
Posted on Monday, September 9, 2002 - 11:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's the yeast piss.... not the wormwood that makes you go crazy and psyco...The wormwood gives us all something to write about.
Tinkerbell
Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 8:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I killed his plant. (sniff, pout)
_Blackjack
Posted on Friday, September 6, 2002 - 9:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm curious to hear Ted's opinion on the numbers, and on the techniques used to produce them. The thujone levels we've see from various sources (manufacturers, Wormwood's stuff a while back, and now this) are more inconsistant than a Florida ballot count. It would amuse me greatly to find out that (some) vintage absinthes had less thujone than most modern brands, but I'm not quite ready to believe it.
Mogan_David
Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2002 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

For the hopelessly clueless like myself, here's some interesting reading on the subject of anethole. It seems to be derived from anise with fennel contributing as well.

http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v14je02.htm

Quote from the article:
The pharmacologic effects of trans-anethole most often noted are reduction in motor activity, lowering of body temperature and hypnotic, analgesic, and anticonvulsant effects. By either the i.p. or oral route, administration of more than 10% of LD50 by that route appears necessary for significant effects. (Boissier et al., 1961; Seto, 1969; Gruebner, 1972; Le Bourhis & Soene, 1973).
Wolfgang
Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2002 - 7:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

What would be the cost to test 4 samples for a & b thujone and methanol ?

Can you send me the contact info for this lab (wolfgang_fener at hotmail com) ?
Artist
Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2002 - 1:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks...

a.
Absinthedrinker
Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2002 - 1:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It certainly couldn't evaporate, in fact the alcohol could be expected to evaporate which would concentrate the thujone. Whether it could isomerise into another compound or break down I don't know although I feel that it is unlikely.
Artist
Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2002 - 1:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

What about Wolfie's:


Quote:

One more...


Is it chemically possible that some thujone could ''evaporate'' or somewhat disappear over 100 years ?


Absinthedrinker
Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2002 - 12:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

To answer the points raised:

The thujone is alpha + beta, in all samples. The peaks are resolved on the chromatogram but for the purposes of this article the components were combined. The analysis was quite thorough, I asked for other components to be tested for such as mint, lemon balm etc but this was out of the remit of this article.

The GC was performed at a public analyst's laboratory in the UK which is widely used for food and beverage analysis. They will test anything you send them but once you ask for non-standard analyses or 'open ended' analyses it becomes expensive. The good news is that the samples required are very small and they will return what is left.

The high thujone in the la bleue could be due to a number of reasons, use of stalks is one.

Any problems following the link are likely to be due to not having Adobe Acrobat installed on your PC, it is widely available and free to download.

The article will be in Current Drug Discovery, a publication which goes out to pharmaceutical industry execs. I will find out if individual copies are available, otherwise use the pdf, I will keep it on my site.
Zman7
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 10:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It would be great, after it is published in the magazine, if this article could somehow be put, along side of the other articles, on the first page of la fee verte website......
Nascentvirion
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 9:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Indeed...Very interesting article... Thanks for the info.
Crowlyman
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 5:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

...and what kind of articles can we expect to the near future?


Very informative. I'll be passing this around to those who think you die from merely looking into the glass! (I know a few!)
Traineraz
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 4:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

. . . and here I thought this forum was supposed to be dead.

Thanks for the great article, Ian! I've passed the link along to some friends who were either curious or overly-concerned about what sort of nasty things I consume.

In what journal will it be published?
Zman7
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 1:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One reason, maybe, the la bleu has more thujone is that quality commercial producers use the leaves/flowers (the "tops") of the wormwood plant, and leave out a lot of the stems. The stems have the highest concentration of thujone, and if your'e a Swiss bootlegger, you may just throw in everything from the plant.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 1:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My computer consistently refuses to follow the "Myth, reality and absinthe" link. Does anybody else have the same problem?
Wolfgang
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 1:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One more...


Is it chemically possible that some thujone could ''evaporate'' or somewhat disappear over 100 years ?
Wolfgang
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

or a physician using imaginary solutions...;-)

Nice article Ian. Now some questions...

Could you comment on the anethole figure ? It seems this vintage sample was quite strong on anis and/or fennel compared to Un Emile. It makes sens doo, based on Ted`s repro, it produced a stronger louche.

Who did the GC test ? would it be possible to test other samples ? Would it be possible to test the mash before distillation to see how much thujone goes through the distillation process ?

In table 1, are we talking alpha or beta thujone ?

What did the LaBleu producers did to end up with so much more thujone ? Use more herb or what ? Do you think they cheated by adding oils ?
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 10:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, now, don't toy with me, Wolf. I'm not a real physician -- I just play one on the internet.
Wolfgang
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 10:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

hepatoprotective = protect the liver.


(hahaha!)
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 10:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Say, as long as we've got the author here, may I ask you what this means:

"Wormwood is also hepatoprotective. ...protected against acetaminophen- and carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity. ...presence of antioxidants and calcium channel blockers in wormwood probably contributes to its hepatoprotective effects."
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 9:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fascinating, thanks!

I find the anethole figures almost more interesting than the thujone... as someone who's never tasted vintage Pernod, if I took these figures in isolation I'd have to conclude that your La Bleue is drier than Pernod, and Emile 68 is very much drier. I wish you'd tested Segarra!
Absinthedrinker
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 8:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some time ago I was commissioned to write an article on absinthe for a scientific publication. It provided an opportunity to do some literature and laboratory research which proved to be quite revealing. The article is just going to press but if you want a sneak preview go to this page and click on the 'Myth, reality and absinthe' link for a pdf file

http://www.absintheonline.com/News_and_reveiws.htm

(and yes, I know there is a spelling mistake)

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