Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group, and a side-chain that is specific to each amino acid. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. They are particularly important in biochemistry, where the term usually refers to alpha-amino acids. Amino acids serve as the building blocks of proteins, which are linear chains of amino acids. Amino acids can be linked together in varying sequences to form a vast variety of proteinsAmino acids are important in nutrition and are commonly used in nutrition supplements, fertilizers, food technology and industry.
In industry, applications include the production of biodegradable plastics, drugs, and chiral catalysts.