Tartaric acid is a naturally occurring versatile chiral compound found in many plants, including grapes, bananas, and tamarinds. It is commonly used in the food industry as a food additive and in the production of wine.
Tartaric acid derivatives have unique properties that make them useful in a variety of applications, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. They have been widely used in the production of effervescent salts, in combination with citric acid, to improve the taste of oral medications, as an expectorant in cough syrup and as chiral resolving agents in the separation of stereoisomers. The separation of stereoisomers is an important process in the pharmaceutical industry, as many drugs are produced in the form of enantiomerically pure compounds.