Malic acid

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White, water-soluble crystals that occur naturally in apples and other fruits. Malic acid is used as a chelating and buffering agent. The weak acid is also used to acidify food and to age wine.

Synonyms and Related Terms

apple acid; hydroxysuccinic acid; hydroxybutanedioic acid

Chemical structure

Malic acid.jpg


  • Combustible.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, methanol, diethyl ether, acetone and ethanol. Slightly soluble in ether. Insoluble in benzene.

pH = 2.2 (0.1 N solution)

CAS 617-48-1 (dl form)
Melting Point 131-132 C
Density 1.601 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 134.09

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 55
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5747
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: pH = 2.2 (0.1 N solution)