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Lactic Acid - Uses Of Lactic Acid

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Uses of lactic acid

Lactic acid is used as a humectant, or moisturizer, in some cosmetics and as a mordant, a chemical that helps fabrics accept dyes, in textiles. It is also used in making pickles and sauerkraut, foods for which a sour taste is desired. Lactic acid is used in the dairy industry not only in making yogurt but in making cheese as well. It is also used in tanning leather. Lactic acid is important in the pharmaceutical industry as a starting material for other substances and is involved in the manufacturing of lacquers and inks. A related compound that is made from lactic acid is calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate, which is used as a food preservative.

Resources

Periodicals

"Babies Fuss Over Post-Exercise Milk." Science News vol. 142 (July 18, 1992) :47.

Chase, Marilyn. "High Lactic Acid Found in Patients with Huntington's." The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 1992, B12.

Drake, Geoff. "The Lactate Shuttle-Contrary to What You've Heard, Lactic Acid is Your Friend." Bicycling 33 (August 1992): 36.

Roberts, Marjorie. "Keeping Yogurt Honest-Its Reputation as a Health Food May Not Always be Deserved." U.S. News and World Report 109 (November 5, 1990,)" 76.

"Some Babies Turn Up Their Noses at Breast Milk After Mom Exercises." Environmental Nutrition 16 (June, 1993): 3.


Louis Gotlib

KEY TERMS

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Buffers

—Combinations of acids, bases, and salts that neutralize changes in pH.

Humectant

—A moisturizing agent, often used in cosmetics.

Isomers

—Two molecules in which the number of atoms and the types of atoms are identical, but their arrangement in space is different, resulting in different chemical and physical properties.

Mordant

—A chemical that helps fabrics accept dyes more readily.

Polarized light

—Light that vibrates in a single plane, as opposed to ordinary light that vibrates in all planes.

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