Substitute for Menthol http://cen.acs.org/articles/95/web/...Member&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=CEN L-Menthol, derived from mint, is the king of naturally derived cooling compounds, added to products from cough drops to cosmetics. It’s relatively cheap thanks to large-scale synthetic production. But it has some shortcomings: At low concentrations, its effect can be weak and short-lived, but bumping up its concentrations too high can cause irritation. So Kao and other consumer product makers have sought other cooling agents derived from natural sources, in part because natural flavors and fragrances have a greater market value than synthetic ones. an ethanol extract of dried nutmeg did the trick. The researchers eventually isolated and purified the compound responsible for the activation, though it wasn’t easy. “It took more than a year to find the natural extract and many years to identify the actual compound,” Shirai says.