Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the chemical formula C6H8O7.
Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the chemical formula C6H8O7. It is naturally present in citrus fruits and is primarily used as an acidifier, flavoring and chelating agent (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid).
Industrial production of citric acid started in 1917 by company Pfizer and later on Citrique Belge. The main route to citric acid is by feeding cultures of Aspergillus Niger (a common mold) on a sucrose or glucose medium, which is often inexpensive sugar solutions and mostly derived from corn steep liquor, molasses or corn starch. Thus the World corn prices are often a good indicator for citric acid price fluctuations.
Examples of applications
Food and beverages
Due to the fact that citric acid is one of the stronger edible acids, it’s dominant use is as flavouring agent and preservative in food and beverages. Thus it is used in softdrinks, candy and dairy products. It can be added to ice-cream as emulsifier, to caramel to prevent crystallization. Or it can be used as replacement of natural fresh lemon juice.
Citric acid is used as chelating agent, due to it’s properties of binding metals. It is used to soften water, which makes it useful in soaps and laundry detergents. Thus a proper solution of water and citric acid will remove water stains from glass without scrubbing.
Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
Citric acid is used as an acidulous in creams, gels and liquids of all kinds and in pharmaceuticals as a buffer to increase solubility of brown heroin.
- Product is available in various packaging