Phenylalanine amino acids. Molecular graphic of the two optical isomers of the amino acid phenylalanine. This is one of the essential amino acids, those which the body cannot synthesise and must be taken from foods such as dairy products. Isomers have identical chemical formulae, but differing structures. Optical isomers are mirror images of one another. When in solution, they rotate the plane of polarized light in opposite directions. The (S) sinister form is at top with the (R) rectus form below.
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