Tartaric Acid – Structure & Uses

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Tartaric acid is food acid that is found naturally in fruits and vegetable plants like grapes & bananas. A diprotic acid, it carries two hydrogen atoms on each molecule. Although tartaric acid is a naturally occurring food acid it can be reproduced synthetically for a variety of uses, food uses in specific.

Tartaric Acid Structure

Tartaric acid is a carbon based compound that is found in some naturally occurring fruits and vegetable plants. It is also found in the form of salts, namely calcium tartrate, potassium tartarate, & sodium tartarate. Its chemical formula is C4H6O6,its official name 2,3-dihydroxybutanedioic acid. The acid possesses two alcohol groups and two acid groups.

Tartaric Acid Uses

Tartaric acid uses are spread over a variety of industries, but the most important of all the tartaric acid uses is as a food additive. As a food additive, tartaric acid uses are for a number of food types, in packaged as well as home cooked foods. A detailed list of tartaric uses is given below:

Tartaric Acid Food Uses

As a food additive acid, tartaric acid uses are mainly as a sour flavoring or as a stabilizer in its cream form. It is used in the baking powder, candies & wine. It also works as a laxative and as an antioxidants in a variety of food products, specially the packaged food materials. In certain situations tartaric acid may also be used to induce vomiting. Tartaric acid has a yeast like taste and is found in products like frosted cakes, candies & soft drinks. But it should be taken in only advised quantities as intake in high doses might be dangerous. A high dose can lead to extreme reactions like paralysis or death.

Tartaric Acid - Other Uses

Other uses of tartaric acid are for making silver mirrors, tanning of leather and for making blue prints. It also has optical properties which implies that it can cause rotation of plane polarized light. Blue prints are usually made with a specific salt of tartaric acid, the ferric tartarte. Tartaric acid also finds use in making glucose determination solution for the purpose of medical analysis. Some other uses of tartaric acid, in its ester forms are dyeing of textiles and manufacturing lacquer.

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