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    A class of organic compounds formed by the reaction of an organic acid with an alcohol in which a molecule of water is released. Esters such as ethyl acetate and ester gum are used extensively as solvents in the manufacture of printing inks. So-called "fruit esters"—such as the ethyl and isoamyl esters of formic, acetic, butyric, and valeric acids—are produced in plants, and provide the characteristic taste and odors of raspberry, cherry, grape, rum, and other flavors, which can also be synthesized artificially.

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