butyric acid

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butyric acid (byōōtĬr´Ĭk) or butanoic acid (byōōtənō´Ĭk), CH3CH2CH2CO2H, viscous, foul-smelling, liquid carboxylic acid; m.p. about -5°C; b.p. 163.5°C. It is miscible with water, ethanol, and ether. It is a low molecular weight fatty acid that is present in butter as an ester of glycerol; the odor of rancid butter is due largely to the presence of free butyric acid. Butyric acid is used in the manufacture of plastics. Isobutyric acid, or 2-methylpropanoic acid, (CH3)2CHCO2H, is a geometric isomer of the butyric acid described above; it has different physical properties but similar chemical properties.

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butyric acid A short‐chain saturated fatty acid (C4 : 0). It occurs as the triacylglycerol in 5–6% of butter fat, and in small amounts in other fats and oils. Also formed by intestinal bacterial fermentation of resistant starch, when it is possibly protective against the development of colo‐rectal cancer.

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butyric (butyric acid, found in rancid butter) XIX. f. L. būtȳrum BUTTER + -IC.