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Perkin reaction[′pər·kən rē‚ak·shən]
a method of synthesizing β-arylacrylic acids (cinnamic acid and its derivatives and analogues) by reacting aromatic aldehydes with carboxylic acid anhydrides in the presence of a basic catalyst, such as alkali salts of carboxylic acids, carbonates of alkali metals, or tertiary amines:
The reaction was discovered by W. H. Perkin the Elder in 1868. It is widely used in organic chemistry. The synthesis of coumarin from salicylaldehyde and acetic anhydride is of commercial importance.