Mandelic acid is an aromatic alpha hydroxy acid with the molecular formula C6H5CH(OH)CO2H. It is a white crystalline solid that is soluble in water and polar organic solvents. It is a useful precursor to various drugs. The molecule is chiral. The racemic mixture is known as paramandelic acid. Mandelic acid has a long history of use in the medical community as an antibacterial, particularly in the treatment of urinary tract infections.It has also been used as an oral antibiotic, and as a component of "chemical face peels", along with other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).
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