Tartaric acid
Tartaric acid is a white crystalline diprotic
Diprotic acid
A diprotic acid is an acid such as H2SO4 that contains within its molecular structure two hydrogen atoms per molecule capable of dissociating in water. The complete dissociation of diprotic acids is of the same form as sulfuric acid:The dissociation does not happen all at once due to the two...

 organic acid
Organic acid
An organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties. The most common organic acids are the carboxylic acids, whose acidity is associated with their carboxyl group –COOH. Sulfonic acids, containing the group –SO2OH, are relatively stronger acids. The relative stability of the conjugate...

. It occurs naturally in many plants, particularly grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

s, banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s, and tamarind
Tamarind is a tree in the family Fabaceae. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic .-Origin:...

s; is commonly combined with baking soda to function as a leavening agent in recipes, and is one of the main acids found in wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

. It is added to other foods to give a sour taste, and is used as an antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

. Salts of tartaric acid are known as tartrate
A tartrate is a salt or ester of the organic compound tartaric acid, a dicarboxylic acid. Its formula is O−OC-CH-CH-COO− or C4H4O62−.As food additives, tartrates are used as antioxidants, acidity regulators, and emulsifiers...

s. It is a dihydroxyl
A hydroxyl is a chemical group containing an oxygen atom covalently bonded with a hydrogen atom. In inorganic chemistry, the hydroxyl group is known as the hydroxide ion, and scientists and reference works generally use these different terms though they refer to the same chemical structure in...

 derivative of succinic acid
Succinic acid
Succinic acid is a dicarboxylic acid. Succinate plays a biochemical role in the citric acid cycle. The name derives from Latin succinum, meaning amber, from which the acid may be obtained....


Tartaric acid was first isolated from potassium tartrate
Potassium tartrate
Potassium tartrate, dipotassium tartrate or argol has formula K2C4H4O6. It is the potassium salt of tartaric acid. It is often confused with potassium bitartrate, also known as cream of tartar...

, known to the ancients as tartar, c.