Physical and Chemical Characteristics

Retinol is a light molecule that has a molecular weight of 286.45g. Its melting point is between 62-64oC, while the boiling temperature is between 137-138oC. This means that at room temperature and pressure, retinol exists as solid. Retinol is a crystalline solid that appear yellow or orange in color. The density of retinol is 0.954g/cm3, which means that it is lighter than water. Since retinol is an organic molecule, it is insoluble in polar substances such as water and glycerol, but they are soluble in non-polar substances such as alcohol, chloroform, ether, and oils.

As chemical properties, retinol can undergo oxidation into retinal and retinoic acids. In this view, retinol is unstable at room temperature and in the presence of air. Therefore, it is extracted and stored under the presence of protective anti-oxidant. Moreover, retinol can react with tricholoacetic acids, antimony trichloride, and trifluoroacetic acids to give colored substances.

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