Illicium verum is a medium-sized evergreen tree native to northeast Vietnam and southwest China. A spice commonly called star anise, staranise, star anise seed, star aniseed, Chinese star anise, or badian that closely resembles anise in flavor is obtained from the star-shaped pericarps of the fruit of I. verum which are harvested just before ripening. Star anise oil is a highly fragrant oil used in cooking, perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams. Until 2012, when they switched to using a bacterial source, Roche Pharmaceuticals used up to 90% of the world's annual star anise crop to produce shikimic acid, a chemical intermediate used in the synthesis of oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
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