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(organic chemistry)
A process by which an optically active form of a substance is converted into a racemic mixture.



the formation of an optically inactive product (racemate) as a result of a reaction involving an asymmetric atom. Racemization is caused by the appearance of an intermediate compound (or transition state), not itself possessing an asymmetric atom, which has an equal probability of yielding optical antipodes. The antipodes, in turn, form racemic compounds. The racemization of carboxylic acids, for example, involves enolization:

Racemization occurs in reactions leading to the formation of the flat carbonium ion and in reactions that are carried out through free radicals.

References in periodicals archive ?
Early work at Lancefield Swamp using ABA radiocarbon analysis of charcoal suggested that megafauna may have survived until 30 000 CAL BP, but recent ESR and amino acid racemisation (AAR) dating of megafauna teeth imply that the remains are most likely 40 to 60 ka (van Huet et al.
Amino acid racemisation data paired with the AMS dates, provide additional support for the improved chronology.
Aboriginal occupation on Rottnest Island, Western Australia, provisionally dated by aspartic acid racemisation assay of land snails to greater than 50 ka.