Steam distillation of essential oils – Carvone from caraway
Carvone is a secondary metabolite. That means it is a naturally-occurring compound that is not directly connected to the very basic functions of a cell, such as self-replication or the production of energy. The role of secondary metabolites in nature is often difficult to determine. However, these compounds often play roles in self-defense, acting as deterrents against competitor species in a sort of small-scale chemical warfare scenario. They are also frequently used in communications; this role has been studied most extensively among insects, which use lots of compounds to send information to each other.
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