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Is L-malic acid the same as malic acid?
L-malic acid and malic acid are related but not exactly the same. Malic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that occurs naturally in various fruits, particularly in apples. It is commonly used as a food additive to add a tart taste to candies and beverages.
L-malic acid specifically refers to the L-isomer of malic acid. Isomers are molecules that have the same molecular formula but different arrangements of atoms. In this case, malic acid has two isomers: L-malic acid and D-malic acid. The "L" and "D" refer to the spatial arrangement of atoms in the molecule. The L-isomer is the naturally occurring form found in many fruits.
Both L-malic acid and D-malic acid can be produced synthetically, but L-malic acid is the form typically found in food and is the more biologically active form. When people refer to malic acid in the context of food or supplements, they often mean L-malic acid.