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What is Citric Acid Mainly Used For?

What is Citric Acid Mainly Used For?

Citric Acid

Citric Acid (CA), is divided into anhydrous citric acid and monohydrate citric acid, molecular formula C6H8O7, is an important organic acid that is colorless, odorless, has a strong acidic taste, is easily soluble in water, and is an acidity regulator and food additive.

Natural citric acid is widely distributed in our daily lives and exists in fruits of plants such as lemons, citrus, pineapples, and in the bones, muscles, and blood of animals.
Artificially synthesized citric acid is produced by fermentation of sugar containing substances such as sugar, molasses, starch, grapes, etc.
Many types of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, contain a high amount of citric acid, especially lemon and lime - they contain a large amount of citric acid, which can reach 8% after drying (approximately 47g/L in juice). In citrus fruits, the content of citric acid ranges between 0.005mol/L for oranges and grapes, and 0.30mol/L for lemons and lime. This content varies with the growth of different cultivated species and plants.


Seven Effects of Citric Acid

Used in the food industry

Citric acid has a mild and refreshing sour taste, and is widely used in the manufacture of various drinks, soda, wine, candy, Dim sum, biscuits, canned fruit juice, dairy products and other foods. Among all organic acid markets, citric acid has a market share of over 70%, and there is currently no acid flavoring agent that can replace citric acid. Citric acid monohydrate is mainly used as an acidic seasoning agent and as an antioxidant in edible oils. Simultaneously improving the sensory properties of food, enhancing appetite, and promoting the digestion and absorption of calcium and phosphorus substances in the body.

Anhydrous citric acid is widely used in solid beverages. Citric acid salts such as calcium citrate and iron citrate are fortifiers that require the addition of calcium and iron ions in certain foods. Esters of citric acid, such as triethyl citrate, can be used as non-toxic plasticizers in the manufacturing of plastic films for food packaging, and are sour flavoring agents in the beverage and food industries.

Used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and textile industries

Citric acid can be used as a chemical analysis reagent in chemical technology, as an experimental reagent, chromatographic analysis reagent, and biochemical reagent; Used as a complexing agent and masking agent; Used to prepare a buffer solution. Using citric acid or citrate salts as cleaning aids can improve the performance of washing products, quickly precipitate metal ions, prevent pollutants from re adhering to the fabric, and maintain the necessary alkalinity for washing; Disperse and suspend dirt and ash; Improving the performance of surfactants is an excellent chelating agent.

Formaldehyde pollution in clothing is a sensitive issue, and citric acid and modified citric acid can be used as a formaldehyde-free anti wrinkle finishing agent for pure cotton fabrics. Not only does it have good wrinkle resistance, but it also has low cost.

For environmental protection

Citric acid sodium citrate buffer solution is a highly valuable desulfurization absorbent due to its low vapor pressure, non-toxic, stable chemical properties, and high SO2 absorption rate.

Used in the poultry and livestock industry

Adding citric acid to piglet feed can lead to early weaning, increase feed utilization rate by 5% to 10%, and increase sow litter size. Adding 1% to 2% citric acid to the diet of growing and fattening pigs can increase daily weight gain, reduce feed to meat ratio, increase protein digestibility, reduce back fat thickness, and improve meat quality and carcass characteristics.

Rare earth citrate is a new and efficient feed additive suitable for various animals such as pigs, chickens, fish, shrimp, cattle, sheep, rabbits, silkworms, etc. It has the characteristics of promoting animal growth, improving product quality, improving disease resistance and survival rate, increasing feed conversion rate, and shortening feeding cycle.

Used for cosmetics

Central retinal degeneration is a common cause of decreased vision. Research has found that deep-sea fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of macular degeneration in the eyes due to aging.

For sterilization

The combined effect of citric acid and 80 ℃ temperature has a good bactericidal effect on bacterial spores, and can effectively kill contaminated bacterial spores in the hemodialysis machine pipeline.

Lemon, known as the "king of Western cuisine", has a strong bactericidal effect and is beneficial for food hygiene. In addition, the fragrant aroma of lemon has always been used to make cold dishes, which not only tastes delicious and refreshing, but also enhances appetite.

Used in medicine

Citric acid has the effect of shrinking, consolidating capillaries, and reducing their permeability. It can also improve coagulation function and platelet count, shorten coagulation and bleeding time, and have a certain hemostatic effect. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal cooling agent to measure blood potassium.

Precautions for citric acid

Eating hazards

Citric acid is an edible acid that can enhance normal metabolism in the body, and an appropriate dosage is harmless to the human body. Adding citric acid to certain foods has a good taste and can promote appetite. Although citric acid is not directly harmful to the human body, it can promote the excretion and deposition of calcium in the body. For example, long-term consumption of foods containing citric acid may lead to hypocalcemia and increase the risk of developing duodenal cancer. Children exhibit unstable nervous system, excitability, and autonomic nervous system disorders; Adults may experience hand and foot spasms, muscle spasms, sensory abnormalities, itching, and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Based on the influence of citric acid on calcium metabolism, people who often eat cans, drinks, jam, sour candy, especially children, should pay attention to calcium supplementation, drink more raw milk, fish head, fish bone soup, eat some shrimp skin, etc., so as to avoid causing insufficient blood calcium and affecting health. Patients with gastric ulcer, excessive stomach acid, dental caries, and diabetes should not often eat citric acid. Citric acid cannot be added to pure milk, as it can cause it to solidify. The dairy industry often mixes citric acid into a solution of about 10% and adds it to low concentration milk solutions. When adding, it should be quickly stirred.

Industrial hazards

Health hazards: Concentrated citric acid solution has a stimulating effect on mucous membranes, and long-term consumption can affect brain development in children. In industrial use, contact may cause eczema.

Explosion hazard: Citric acid is flammable. Powder and air can form explosive mixtures, which pose a risk of combustion and explosion when exposed to open flames, high heat, or in contact with oxidizing agents.

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