Quinic acid is a cyclitol, a cyclic polyol, and a cyclohexanecarboxylic acid. It is a colorless solid that can be extracted from plant sources. Quinic acid is implicated in the perceived acidity of coffee.
Shikimic acid, biosynthetic precursor to aromatic amino acids, is a close relative of quinic acid.
This substance was isolated for the first time in 1806 by FrenchpharmacistNicolas Vauquelin and its transformation into hippuric acid by animal metabolism was studied by German chemist Eduard Lautemann in 1863.
This acid is a versatile chiral starting material for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. It is a building block in the synthesis of Oseltamivir, which is used to treat influenza A and B.
^Santos, Sónia A. O.; Freire, Carmen S. R.; Domingues, M. Rosário M.; Silvestre, Armando J. D.; Neto, Carlos Pascoal (2011). "Characterization of Phenolic Components in Polar Extracts of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. Bark by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59 (17): 9386–93. doi:10.1021/jf201801q. PMID21761864.
^L. N. Vauquelin (1806) "Expériences sur les diverses espèces de Quinquina" (Experiments on various species of Quinquina), Annales de Chimie, 59 : 113-169. Quinic acid is named on p. 167. From p. 167:"Concluons donc que cet acide est véritablement différent de tous ceux qui sont connus maintenant, et donnons-lui le nom d'acide kinique du mot quinquina, … " (Let us thus conclude that this acid is truly different from all those that are now known, and let us give it the name of quinic acid from the word quinquina, … )