Investigating Synthetics Routes to the Medicinal Components of Ginger
The goal of this research project was to investigate a time and cost-efficient way to synthesize gingerol, a medicinally relevant chemical component found in ginger, from commercially available vanillin. This research will aid in finding methods to produce analogues of gingerol, which are known to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as many other preventative benefits for human health. One prominent reason why this project was undertaken was to create a laboratory experiment that can be carried out by chemistry students at MacEwan to investigate the drug discovery process. The synthesis involved multiple transformations and required the evaluation of different reaction conditions for each step to optimize the protocol. The pathway to finding the best synthetic route, which included an aldol condensation between vanillin and acetone to generate dehydrozingerone, a reduction of dehydrozingerone into zingerol, an oxidation of zingerol to zingerone, and a second aldol condensation to obtain gingerol, will be discussed.
Faculty Mentor: Tina Bott