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lactic acid

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noun Biochemistry.

a colorless or yellowish, syrupy, water-soluble liquid, C3H6O3, produced during muscle contraction as a product of anaerobic glucose metabolism, abundant in sour milk, prepared usually by fermentation of cornstarch, molasses, potatoes, etc., or synthesized: used chiefly in dyeing and textile printing, as a flavoring agent in food, and in medicine.

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Origin of lactic acid

First recorded in 1780–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for lactic acid

lactic acid

noun

a colourless syrupy carboxylic acid found in sour milk and many fruits and used as a preservative (E270) for foodstuffs, such as soft margarine, and for making pharmaceuticals and adhesives. Formula: CH 3 CH(OH)COOHSystematic name: 2-hydroxypropanoic acid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for lactic acid

lactic acid

n.

A syrupy, water-soluble liquid existing in three isomeric forms: one in muscle tissue and blood as a result of anaerobic glucose metabolism, a second in sour milk and wines, and a third used in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for lactic acid

lactic acid
[ lăktĭk ]

A syrupy, water-soluble organic acid produced when milk sours or certain fruits ferment. It is also produced in the body during the anaerobic metabolism of glucose, as in muscle tissue during exercise, where its buildup can cause cramping pains. A synthetic form of lactic acid is used as a flavoring and preservative, in dyeing and textile printing, and in pharmaceuticals. Chemical formula: C3H6O3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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