» Benzoin is the balsamic resin obtained from Styrax benzoin Dryander or Styrax paralleloneurus Perkins, known in commerce as Sumatra Benzoin, or from Styrax tonkinensis (Pièrre) Craib ex Hartwich, or other species of the Section Anthostyrax of the genus Styrax, known in commerce as Siam Benzoin (Fam. Styraceae).
Sumatra Benzoin yields not less than 75.0 percent of alcohol-soluble extractive, and Siam Benzoin yields not less than 90.0 percent of alcohol-soluble extractive.
Packaging and storage— Preserve in well-closed containers.
Labeling— Label it to indicate whether it is Sumatra Benzoin or Siam Benzoin.
Botanic characteristics
Sumatra Benzoin— Blocks or lumps of varying size, made up of tears, compacted together, with a reddish brown, reddish gray, or grayish brown resinous mass. The tears are externally yellowish or rusty brown, milky white on fresh fracture; hard and brittle at ordinary temperatures but softened by heat and becoming gritty on chewing.
Siam Benzoin— Pebble-like tears of variable size and shape, compressed, yellowish brown to rusty brown externally, milky white on fracture, separate or very slightly agglutinated, hard and brittle at ordinary temperatures but softened by heat and becoming plastic on chewing.
A: A solution in alcohol becomes milky upon the addition of water, and the mixture is acid to litmus paper.
B: Heat a few fragments in a test tube: Sumatra Benzoin evolves a sublimate consisting of plates and small, rod-like crystals of cinnamic acid and its esters that strongly polarize light. Siam Benzoin evolves a sublimate directly above the melted mass, consisting of numerous long, rod-shaped crystals of benzoic acid that do not strongly polarize light.
C: Heat about 500 mg in a test tube with 10 mL of potassium permanganate TS: only the Sumatra variety develops a faint odor of benzaldehyde.
Acid-insoluble ash 561: not more than 1.0% in Sumatra Benzoin; not more than 0.5% in Siam Benzoin.
Foreign organic matter 561: not more than 1.0% in Siam Benzoin.
Content of benzoic acid— Treat about 1 g of powdered Benzoin with 15 mL of warm carbon disulfide, filter through a small pledget of cotton, wash the cotton with an additional 5 mL of carbon disulfide, and allow the filtrate to evaporate spontaneously: the weight of the residue is not less than 6.0% (Sumatra Benzoin), or not less than 12.0% (Siam Benzoin) of the weight of Benzoin taken. This residue responds to the tests for Benzoate 191.
Assay— Place about 2 g of Benzoin, accurately weighed, in a tared extraction thimble, and insert the thimble in a continuous-extraction apparatus. Place about 100 mg of sodium hydroxide in the receiving flask of the apparatus, and extract the Benzoin with alcohol for 5 hours, or until completely extracted. Dry the extraction thimble containing the insoluble residue at 105 for 2 hours. On a separate portion of Benzoin, determine the water content as directed for Method II under Water Determination 921. Calculate the weight of water in the quantity of the Benzoin taken for assay, and subtract it from the original weight of the Benzoin taken. The difference between this result and the weight of the residue in the extraction thimble represents the alcohol-soluble extractive.
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