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- Molecular formula: C4H6O6
- Molar mass: 150.087
- CAS Registry Number: 815-82-7
- Appearance: DL-Tartaric acid, 99%; DL-Tartaric acid, 99%; colourless or translucent crystals, or a white, fine to granular crystaline powder which is odourless with an acid taste; white crystalline powder
- Melting point: 205 to 215 °C
- Boiling point: Not available
- Solubility: Water, 5.82e+005 mg/L (20 deg C), 2.15e+005 mg/L (25 deg C), 1e+006 mg/L (25 deg C), 5.6e+005 mg/L (20 deg C), 2.46e+005 mg/L (25 deg C)
- Safety sheet: Not available
- Spectra: NMRShiftDB 13C NMR, Massbank MS, also check on SDBS. Add Spectra (Help).
Tartaric acid is a white crystalline diprotic aldaric acid. It occurs naturally in many plants, particularly grapes, bananas, and tamarinds, is commonly combined with baking soda to function as a leavening agent in recipes, and is one of the main acids found in wine. It is added to other foods to give a sour taste, and is used as an antioxidant. Salts of tartaric acid are known as tartrates. It is a dihydroxyl derivative of succinic acid.
Tartaric acid was first isolated from potassium tartrate, known to the ancients as tartar, circa 800 AD, by the alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan. The modern process was developed in 1769 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
Tartaric acid played an important role in the discovery of chemical chirality. This property of tartaric acid was first observed in 1832 by Jean Baptiste Biot, who observed its ability to rotate polarized light. Louis Pasteur continued this research in 1847 by investigating the shapes of ammonium sodium tartrate crystals, which he found to be chiral. By manually sorting the differently shaped crystals under magnification, Pasteur was the first to produce a pure sample of levotartaric acid.
Tartaric acid (IUPAC Name); 2,3-Dihydroxy-succinic acid; 2,3-Dihydroxy-butanedioic acid; DL-TARTARIC ACID
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