Sorbic Acid

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sorbic acid

[′sȯr·bik ′as·əd]
(organic chemistry)
CH3CH=CHCH=CHCOOH A white, crystalline compound; soluble in most organic solvents, slightly soluble in water; melts at 135°C; used as a fungicide and food preservative, and in the manufacture of plasticizers and lubricants.

Sorbic Acid


(also 2,4–hexadienoic acid), a monobasic unsaturated carboxylic acid of the aliphatic series with the formula CH3CHᆖCH—CHᆖCHCOOH. Sorbic acid is contained in the juice of the berry-like fruit of the mountain ash Sorbusaucuparia. Industry produces only one of the four theoretically possible isomers, namely, trans-trans-sorbic acid; the process involves the condensation of ketene (CH2ᆖCᆖO) together with crotonaldehyde (CH3—CHᆖCH—CHO). Sorbic acid is a colorless, crystalline compound with a melting point of 134°C and a boiling point of 228°C; it is insoluble in water but dissolves readily in alcohol. Sorbic acid is used in organic synthesis and in the preservation of various food products.

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