Examples of Esters

The Acidic Environment‎ > ‎5. Esterification‎ > ‎

Outline some examples of the occurrence, production and uses of esters

Process information from secondary sources to identify and describe the uses of esters as flavours and perfumes in processed foods and cosmetics

  • Esters occur naturally as:
    • Flavouring agents and scents in plants and fruits.
    • Animal fats and plant oils.
  • The production of esters involves either:
    • Extraction from natural sources.
    • Manufacture in an industrial environment, which is generally far less expensive.
  • Uses of esters include:
    • Flavouring agents and scents in foods.
    • Solvents and thinners.
    • Medications.
    • Plasticisers.
  • Octyl ethanoate is an example of a common ester:
    • Octyl ethanoate is associated with orange flavour, as it is the main ester present in oranges.
    • It is produced by reacting a mixture of 1-octanol with ethanoic acid using a small amount of concentrated sulfuric acid as a catalyst:
    • Once produced, octyl ethanoate is used as a flavouring agent in foods, such as orange-flavoured confectionary.