Tartaric Acid - C4H6O6

What is Tartaric Acid?

Tartaric Acid is a carboxylic acid with a chemical formula C4H6O6. This organic acid is found in many vegetables and fruits such as bananas, grapes, but also in bananas, citrus, and tamarinds. It is also known as 2,3-dihydroxysuccinic acid or Racemic acid. It is used to generate carbon dioxide. It is a diprotic aldaric acid which is crystalline white.

It is widely used in the field of pharmaceuticals. High dose of tartaric acid can lead to paralysis or death.

Properties of Tartaric Acid – C4H6O6

C4H6O6 Tartaric Acid
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 150.087 g/mol
Density 1.79 g/mL
Boiling Point 275 °C
Melting Point 171 to 174 °C

Tartaric Acid structure – C4H6O6

Tartaric Acid structure

C4H6O6 Uses (Tartaric Acid)

  • It is used  to improve the taste of oral medications
  • It is used to chelate metal ions such as magnesium and calcium
  • It is used in recipes as a leavening agent along with baking soda
  • It is used as an antioxidant
  • It is as one of the important acids in wine
  • It is used in foods to give a sour taste
  • It is sometimes used to induce vomiting
  • It is used to make silver mirrors
  • In its ester form, it is used in the dyeing of textiles
  • It is used in the tanning of leather
  • It is used in candies
  • In its cream form, it is used as a stabilizer in food

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Practise This Question

Tribhuvan Das is an ice-cream scientist and it is his job to make different yet delicious varieties of ice-creams. Before being frozen, ice cream mixtures are in the colloidal state. For months, Tribhuvan Das has been experimenting with new flavours but never got satisfactory results. On a Saturday night just before Diwali, he accidentally mixed up two different samples and got a delicious Sundae. Tribhuvan sent the sample to his boss for tasting, but the boss found it a bit saltier for his palate. It is Diwali time so Tribhuvan is away on leave. The boss is impatient and wants to taste the ice-cream but without the extra saltiness. What should he do?