A syrupy, water-soluble liquid, C3H6O3, produced in muscles as a result of anaerobic glucose metabolism, and present in sour milk, molasses, various fruits, and wines. A synthetic form of the compound is used in foods and beverages as a flavoring and preservative, in dyeing and textile printing, and in pharmaceuticals.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.