Butyl acetate is found in many types of fruit, where along with other chemicals it imparts characteristic flavors and has a sweet smell of banana or apple. It is used as a synthetic fruit flavoring in foods such as candy, ice cream, cheeses, and baked goods. Butyl acetate is often used as a high-boiling solvent of moderate polarity.
The other three isomers of butyl acetate are: isobutyl acetate, tert-butyl acetate, and sec-butyl acetate.
Butyl acetates are commonly manufactured by the Fischer esterification of butanol (or its isomer to make an isomer of butyl acetate) and acetic acid with the presence of catalytic sulfuric acid under reflux conditions with the following reaction:
Synthesis Butyl acetate.svg
Occurrence in nature
Apples, especially of the Red Delicious variety, are flavored in part by this chemical. The alarm pheromones emitted by the Koschevnikov gland of honey bees contain butyl acetate.