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Recipes for Root Beer and Sarsaparilla Extracts
 
 
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parsa
Home Brew Guru


Joined: Dec 15, 2003
Posts: 50
Location: Escondido, CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Recipes for Root Beer and Sarsaparilla Extracts Reply with quote

Yes, I'm alive...

If you look at those ingredients, you'll see that they are the modern substitutes for sassafras. Most root beer now is actually synthetic birch beer. methyl salicylate in chemical wintergreen flavor (and scent), and birch twigs and birch bark are high in that chemical. So is wintergreen of course, but it's always been much easier to get huge quantities from birch trees rather than a little herb.

All of the commercial oil from sassafras has to be safrole free.

Parsa
  
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aruzinsky
Root Beer Connoisseur
Root Beer Connoisseur


Joined: Oct 13, 2004
Posts: 159
Location: IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Recipes for Root Beer and Sarsaparilla Extracts Reply with quote

parsa wrote:
Yes, I'm alive...

If you look at those ingredients, you'll see that they are the modern substitutes for sassafras. Most root beer now is actually synthetic birch beer. methyl salicylate in chemical wintergreen flavor (and scent), and birch twigs and birch bark are high in that chemical. So is wintergreen of course, but it's always been much easier to get huge quantities from birch trees rather than a little herb.

All of the commercial oil from sassafras has to be safrole free.

Parsa


The safrole ban in food is an idiosyncrasy of the USA FDA. In addition, it is a controlled substance because amphetamines can be made out of it. Same for heliotropine which is a secondary constituent of sassafras oil. However, I assume that real sassafras oil is not banned in some countries. Let's pretend that I live in such a country. I augment A&W Diet Rootbeer with real sassafras oil at the rate of 1/3 drop per 2 liter bottle. It tastes soooo good! Incidentally, a flavor substitute for heliotropineis ethyl benzoate.

There are different species of birch trees, some of which do not yield methyl salicylate. According to http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential_oils/birch.htm the main constituents of white birch oil are betulenol and sesquiterpenes. If you ever smell the bark of paper birch trees (the kind American Indians made canoes from), you will not detect the odor of methyl salicylate. I made a tea out of paper birch bark, and it tasted pretty good. I think that essence of paper birch, which I suspect may also be principally betulenol, might be useful as rootbeer flavoring. Possibly, this was historically a rootbeer flavoring that got lost because of nomenclature confusion.
  
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aruzinsky
Root Beer Connoisseur
Root Beer Connoisseur


Joined: Oct 13, 2004
Posts: 159
Location: IL, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Recipes for Root Beer and Sarsaparilla Extracts Reply with quote

aruzinsky wrote:
This was photocopied from some book, the name of which I didn't record, about 20 years ago, at a library.
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steveb
Root Beer Fantasizer
Root Beer Fantasizer


Joined: Mar 19, 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Recipes for Root Beer and Sarsaparilla Extracts Reply with quote

Just for information - I ran across the name of the book the copy came from. It is Source Book of Flavors by Henry B Heath 1981.
  
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