- Tonka bean
image_width = 250px
image_caption = Tonka Beans
name = Tonka bean
divisio = Magnoliophyta
genus = "
species = "D. odorata"
binomial = "Dipteryx odorata"The tonka bean is the
seedof " Dipteryxodorata", a legumetree in the neotropics, of the Fabaceaefamily. The seed is black and wrinkled in appearance, with a smooth brown interior. It is known mostly for its fragrance, which is reminiscent of vanilla, almonds, cinnamon, and cloves: it has sometimes been used commercially as a substitute for vanilla. It is also sometimes used in perfumeand was commonly used in tobacco before being banned.
The seed contains
coumarin, which can be lethal in large doses. For this reason its use in food is banned in the US by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA). Many anti-coagulant prescription drugs are based on more powerful forms of coumarin.
The plant has its origin in Northern South America (
Guyana, Orinocoregion). Main producers today are Venezuelaand also Nigeria.
* [http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/21cfr189_06.html CFR Title 21, section 189.130] Code of Federal Regulations section prohibiting coumarin and tonka beans
* [http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Dipt_odo.html Spice Pages: Tonka Beans]
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