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The study of organic chemistry is organized around functional groups—groups of atoms bonded together in a specific pattern that give organic compounds their unique physical and chemical properties. The ester functional group is widely distributed in nature. Low molecular weight esters are responsible for the pleasant odor or fragrance of many fruits and flowers, and are thus important ingredients in natural and artificial flavors. Ethyl acetate is a simple ester that is used as a flavor aid for pharmaceuticals and artificial fruit essences.