Home Nutrition Is Citric Acid Protected to Eat? This is What You Have to Know

Is Citric Acid Protected to Eat? This is What You Have to Know

Is Citric Acid Protected to Eat? This is What You Have to Know


Skim the ingredient record of many drinks, jams, canned greens, or frozen meals and also you’re prone to come throughout one which you could truly pronounce — citric acid.

Regardless of its prevalence, few customers know what it’s or the place it comes from. (Although that first phrase ought to offer you a clue…)

Right here’s what it’s best to learn about citric acid, together with its origins, makes use of, and advantages.

What Is Citric Acid?

Bowl of Citric Acid in Front of Lemons | Cictric Acid

Citric acid is an edible acid naturally present in citrus fruits, and it’s what offers them their bitter style.

It’s additionally commercially manufactured for all kinds of makes use of in processed meals and drinks, cleansing merchandise, prescribed drugs, dietary dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

Whereas lemons and limes could also be extra generally recognized for his or her ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C) content material, citrus fruits truly comprise extra citric acid. The truth is, citric acid can account for as a lot as 8 p.c of the entire dry mass of a lime or lemon!

The preliminary discovery of citric acid is credited to eighth-century Persian alchemist Jabir Ibn Hayyan. But it surely wasn’t till the late 1700s when Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele first remoted citric acid from lemon juice.

Over the following century, citric acid grew to become extensively utilized in a wide range of meals, cleansing, and beauty merchandise as a preservative, flavor-enhancer, and stabilizer.

Within the 1900s, American meals chemist James Currie discovered {that a} frequent fungus that causes black mould on vegetables and fruit, Aspergillus niger, produces massive quantities of citric acid when fed a sugar answer.

This artificial technique of deriving citric acid revolutionized the market and have become the brand new commonplace for its industrial manufacturing.

Citric Acid Makes use of in Meals

Isolated Variety of Gummy Candy

“It’s utilized in meals and drinks to spice up acidity, improve taste, and protect components,” explains Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, a board-certified specialist in sports activities dietetics. “It may also be added to canned vegetables and fruit to guard in opposition to botulism, a uncommon however severe sickness brought on by micro organism.”

Citric acid is without doubt one of the commonest meals components on the planet due to the number of makes use of and advantages it gives, Goodson provides.

Listed below are just some citric acid’s functions:

Citric Acid Advantages

Pile of Citric Acid in Front of Cut and Whole Lemon | Citric Acid

Whereas citric acid gives a variety of advantages for meals and beverage producers, Goodson explains that dietary citric acid can even present quite a few well being advantages for customers as nicely.

1. Antioxidant properties

Some analysis has proven that citric acid could profit antioxidant exercise.

Antioxidants are substances present in meals like vegetables and fruit which will forestall or delay sure sorts oxidative stress that may trigger cell harm. Citric acid is related to antioxidant advantages for serving to to help the immune system in addition to liver and mind perform.

2. Mineral absorption

Citric acid will help your physique retain some key minerals. “Citric acid enhances the bioavailability of sure minerals, serving to your physique to raised take in them,” explains Goodson.

Research have supported a hyperlink between citric acid and mineral absorption, calcium and phosphorus, specifically.

3. Cut back bodily fatigue

Whereas extra analysis is required to grasp its connection to bodily fatigue, citric acid may profit vitality ranges.

A small human research reported within the Journal of Medical Biochemistry and Diet discovered that oral consumption of citric acid helped cut back physiological stress and fatigue within the physique after onerous exercises.

Whereas the explanations for this phenomenon aren’t totally understood, it’s theorized that it could have one thing to do with the cycle of vitality manufacturing by which citric acid is a major participant.

Is Citric Acid Unhealthy for You?

Involved that citric acid may be unhealthy for you?

Whereas 99 p.c of the world’s manufacturing of citric acid is now manufactured as an alternative of derived from lemons, there may be little proof that citric acid — even the artificial stuff — has well being dangers for customers, says Goodson.

“Manufactured citric acid is usually acknowledged as protected (GRAS) by the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA). So customers can really feel protected consuming it as part of meals and drinks,” Goodson explains.



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