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propionic acid Line breaks: pro¦pi|on¦ic acid
Pronunciation: /ˌprəʊpɪˈɒnɪk/

Definition of propionic acid in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
A colourless pungent liquid organic acid produced in some forms of fermentation and used for inhibiting the growth of mould in bread.
  • Alternative name: propanoic acid; chemical formula: C2H5COOH
Example sentences
  • Two other simple carboxylic acids are propionic acid and butyric acid.
  • Each population cage contained two standard 240-ml food bottles, each containing 50 ml of standard fly medium containing sucrose, corn meal, yeast, agar, benzoic acid, methyl paraben, and propionic acid.
  • Such breads are almost always chock full of preservatives like sorbic acid and propionic acid, which help to ward off mold.


Mid 19th century: propionic from French propionique, from Greek pro 'before' + piōn 'fat', it being the first member of the fatty acid series to form fats.

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