Butyric acid, an important C4 chemical, and its derivatives have many applications in the chemical, food, pharmaceutical, perfume, and animal feed industries. Although butyric acid itself has an unpleasant odor, it is widely used as a pure acid to intensify butter-like notes in food flavors. Esters of butyric acids, such as methyl, ethyl, and amyl butyrate, are used as additives to enhance fruit fragrance and as aromatic compounds to produce perfumes. In the chemical industry, butyric acid is mainly used as a precursor to producing thermoplastic cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB), which has an excellent performance in terms of organic solvent solubility due to enhanced hydrophobicity, light and cold resistance, and flexibility. Butyric acid can also be used directly as an additive to plastic materials and textile fibers for heat and sunlight resistance enhancement.
Fig.1 Applications of butyric acid and its derivatives in chemical, medicine, perfume, and animal feed. (Jiang, 2018)
In recent years, different colloidal drug delivery systems (including liposomes, dendrimers, and polymeric nanoparticles, in addition to Solid Lipid Nanoparticles [SLNs]), were developed to overcome physicochemical limitations of potential therapeutical compounds such as poor solubility, low permeability, short half-life, high molecular weight, side effects, and systemic toxicity. Butyric acid, a physiologic compound normally present in all mammalian organisms, could be regarded as a prototype of an effective in vitro anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drug whose clinical use is heavily limited by its poor pharmacokinetic profile. Cholesterylbutyrate SLNs (Chol-but SLNs), recently prepared and tested in vitro, proved to be an effective and suitable prodrug of butyrate.
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