But frequently only one of the two forms is effectual in biology and medicine.
Hitherto, completely converting this mixture into the desired enantiomer was deemed impossible.
Deploying a photochemical method, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now achieved this feat.
Producing active ingredients with very specific properties - antibacterial characteristics, for example - is not always so easy.
This small difference can be consequential because the two enantiomers can have different properties.
Saving time, energy and resources