from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of three stereoisomeric crystalline organic dicarboxylic acids, C4H6O6, used to make cream of tartar and baking powder, as a sequestrant, and in effervescent beverages and photographic chemicals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a white crystalline acid that occurs naturally in many plants, and in wine; it is used as the salts cream of tartar and Rochelle salt
  • noun biochemistry The aldaric acid, 2,3 dihydroxy-succinic acid

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an acid found in many fruits; used in soft drinks and confectionery and baking powder


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  • "Louis Pasteur could rightly be described as the first stereochemist, having observed in 1842 that salts of tartaric acid collected from wine production vessels could rotate plane polarized light, but that salts from other sources did not. This property, the only physical property in which the two types of tartrate salts differed, is due to optical isomerism."


    October 2, 2018