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Balsam of Peru (M. pereirae) is native to the north region of Central America. Balsam of Peru was named as such because it was originally assembled and shipped to Europe from the ports of Callao and Lima, Peru, but the species is not indigenous to Peru.
Today, El Salvador is the main exporter of balsam of Peru. The gum has a vanilla-like smell, taste and is used in the fragrance and health industries. It is also used as food additive and flavoring in cough syrups, soft drinks, confectioneries, and chewing gums.