Important Organic Acids with their Sources – List GK

Photo of author

3 Minutes Read

Organic acids are found widely in nature and play many important roles in biological and industrial processes. Some examples of organic acids include:

Unveiling the Origins: Key Organic Acids & Their Natural Sources

Organic acids are compounds containing carbon and hydrogen, often with oxygen and other elements, and they are naturally found in various living organisms

What is acid? Acids are compounds that contain one or more hydrogen (H) atoms and produce hydronium ions (H3O+) as the only positive ions in the solutions of water. The PH value of acids is less than 7 and turns blue litmus to red.

What is organic acid? Organic acids are a diverse group of organic compounds characterized by the presence of a carboxyl group (-COOH). This functional group gives organic acids their characteristic acidic properties, allowing them to donate a hydrogen ion (H+) to a base in an aqueous solution.

Exception: Carbonic Acid (H2CO3)is not an organic acid though it contains Carbon atom in its molecule.
*Note: Hydrochloric acid is an Inorganic acid

List of Organic Acids with their Sources and Formula

# Acetic acid :

Source: Vinegar, produced by the fermentation of alcoholic liquids like wine, cider, and beer.

Formula: CH3COOH

# Citric acid :

Source: Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, orange, etc.

Formula : C6H8O7

# Butyric Acid :

Source : Rancid butter and milk

Formula : CH3CH2CH2-COOH

# Hydrochloric Acid :

Source: Gastric juice

Formula: HCl

# Formic Acid :

Source: sting of bees and ants.

Formula: HCO2H

# Lactic Acid :

Source: Sour milk

Formula: C2H4OHCOOH

# Maleic Acid :

Source: Apples and Grapes


# Oleic Acid :

Source: Olive Oil

Formula: C18H34O2

# Oxalic Acid :

Source: Tomatoes, Rhubarb, spinach

Formula: H2C2O4

# Stearic Acid :

Source: Fats

Formula : CH3(CH2)16COOH

# Tarteric Acid :

Source: Grapes, tamarinds, pineapples

Formula: C4H6O6

# Uric Acid :

Source: Urin

Formula C5H4N4O3

# Palmitic Acid:

Source: Animal fats

Formula: C16H32O2

# Caproic Acid:

Source: Coconut oil

Formula: C6H12O2

These organic acids play important roles in various biological processes and contribute to the flavors, aromas, and nutritional properties of the foods they are present in. Keep in mind that the concentration of these acids can vary depending on the specific food and its preparation.

A Sourcebook of Essential Organic Acids: Where They Come From

Organic acids are found widely in nature, both in plants and animals. They play essential roles in various biological processes, including:

  • Food preservation: Some organic acids, such as citric acid and acetic acid, are used as food preservatives due to their antimicrobial properties. They can inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other spoilage organisms.
  • Flavoring: Many organic acids contribute to the taste and aroma of fruits, vegetables, and other foods. For example, citric acid gives citrus fruits their characteristic tart flavor, while lactic acid is responsible for the tangy taste of yogurt.
  • Cellular metabolism: Organic acids are involved in various metabolic pathways within cells. They can be used as energy sources, precursors for the synthesis of other molecules, and signaling molecules.
  • Industrial applications: Organic acids have a wide range of industrial applications. They are used in the production of plastics, pharmaceuticals, paints, and other chemicals.

Organic acids and their sources are very important for your upcoming competitive examinations for government jobs such as UPSC, IAS, CGL, SSC, CHSL, MTS, Railway, Banking, etc.