Hadley, Elbert H. Formerly, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois.
Last reviewed:January 2022
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A salt or ester of lactic acid (CH3CHOHCOOH). In lactates, the acidic hydrogen of the carboxyl group has been replaced by a metal or an organic radical. Lactates are optically active, with a chiral center at carbon 2. The two optical isomers of a metal (X) lactate have structures (1) and (2).
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