Methyl Isoamyl Ketone
Typically found in animal foods, methyl isoamyl ketone (systematic name 5-methyl-2-hexanone) is a volatile substance found in the pulp of papaya fruit, the aroma of black tea, and in cooked beef and egg aromas. As a member of a ketone family, methyl isoamyl ketone possesses a bond with two carbon atoms R2C=0 (neither R may be an H carbon atom). Methyl isoamyl ketone is colorless liquid less dense than water, and gives off a fruity aroma. Its primary use is as a solvent, and as a feedstock for other ketone-based compounds. It is produced industrially from acetone via a tripartite process: 1.) acetone undergoes an aldol reaction, producing diacetone alcohol (2. Diacetone alcohol dehydrates naturally at room temperature, producing mesityl oxide. 3.) the mesityl oxide is then hydrogenated to produce methyl isoamyl ketone. As the compound is stable, it can be kept in general storage, and no special precautions are required when handling or using methyl isoamyl ketone in a laboratory setting.