butyric acid bu·tyr·ic acid (byōō-tēr'ĭk)
Either of two colorless isomeric acids occurring in animal milk fats and used in disinfectants, emulsifying agents, and pharmaceuticals. Also called butanoic acid.
|butyric acid (by-tîr'ĭk) Pronunciation Key
Either of two colorless fatty acids found in butter and certain plant oils. It has an unpleasant odor and is used in emulsifying agents, disinfectants and drugs. Chemical formula: C4H8O2.
a fatty acid occurring in the form of esters in animal fats and plant oils. As a glyceride (an ester containing an acid and glycerol), it makes up 3-4 percent of butter; the disagreeable odour of rancid butter is that of hydrolysis of the butyric acid glyceride. The acid is of considerable commercial importance as a raw material in the manufacture of esters of lower alcohols for use as flavouring agents; its anhydride is used to make cellulose butyrate, a useful plastic. Butyric acid is manufactured by catalyzed air oxidation of butanal (butyraldehyde).
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