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Uses of Citric Acid
Types of Citric Acid
Citric_Acid Grades
Citric Acid Chemistry
Citric Acid Recipe
Citric Acid Products
Citric_Acid Distributors
Citric_Acid Experiments
Where to buy
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Alternative Names
Questions & Answers

Citric Acid



Citric acid is a weak organic acid naturally found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Lemons, oranges, limes, and other citrus fruits possess high concentrations of citric acid. As much as 8% of the dry weight or 4.7% of the lemon/lime juice is citric acid. Within species, these values vary depending on the cultivar and the circumstances in which the fruit was grown.

At room temperature, pure citric acid is a white crystalline powder. It dissolves in water and absolute (anhydrous) ethanol.

Citric acid is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks. Citric acid can be added to ice cream as an emulsifying agent to keep fats from separating, to caramel to prevent sucrose crystallization, or to recipes in place of fresh lemon juice. Citric acid is used with sodium bicarbonate in a wide range of effervescent formulae, both for ingestion (e.g., powders and tablets) and for personal care (e.g., bath salts, bath bombs, and cleaning of grease). Citric acid is also often used in cleaning products and sodas or fizzy drinks.

Citric acid in a dry powdered form is commonly sold in markets and groceries as "sour salt", due to its physical resemblance to table salt. It has use in culinary applications where an acid is needed for either its chemical properties or for its sour flavor, but a dry ingredient is needed and additional flavors are unwanted (e.g., instead of vinegar or lemon juice).

In chemical structure, citric acid shares the properties of other carboxylic acids. When heated above 175 C, it decomposes through the loss of carbon dioxide and water (see decarboxylation).

Citric acid is a slightly stronger acid than typical carboxylic acids because the anion can be stabilized by intramolecular hydrogen-bonding from other protic groups on citric acid.

Citrate, the conjugate base of citric acid is one of a series of compounds involved in the physiological oxidation of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and water.

This series of chemical reactions (aka"citric acid cycle", or "tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle") is central to nearly all metabolic reactions, and is the source of two-thirds of the food-derived energy in higher organisms. The series of reactions is known by various names, including the . Click on genes, proteins and metabolites below to link to respective articles.

Citric acid is a commodity chemical, and more than a million tonnes are produced every year by fermentation. It is used mainly as an acidifier, as a flavoring, and as a chelating agent.

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