Benefits of Citric Acid

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Citric Acid is an organic weak acid that is naturally found in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, berries, pineapple, tamarind and some vegetables such as tomatoes. The acid is characterized by its distinct sour taste. It is not a daily nutritional requirement however it does offer a lot of benefits. Though citric acid can be produced from citrus fruits it is industrially produced by fermenting sugar cane molasses to meet the demand for the acid. The production of the easily biodegradable acid is cost effective.

Health Benefits of Citric Acid:

  • Citric acid helps in preventing new kidney stones and also to break down already formed stones. The more citric acid in a person’s urine the better he /she is protected against kidney stones as the acid has alkalizing properties which breaks down the minerals that form kidney stones.
  • Citric acid works as an anti-oxidant acting upon the free radicals present in the body. The acid clears the anti oxidants in the body thus reducing the risk of cancer.
  • Though it is an acid it reduces the acidity levels in your blood thereby reducing the occurrence of metabolic acidosis which can cause several serious problems in a person.
  • Gargling your mouth with citric aid and water will relieve sore throat symptoms.

Other Benefits of Citric Acid:

Food Industry:

  • Taste Enhancer: Used in the food industry primarily as a taste enhancer to add a sour taste to foods. The acid is also added on to carbonated drinks. Citric acid also has a tendency to increase the appetite of the person. Citric acid is also used in a powdered form on candies to bring a natural fruity flavor.
  • As a Food Preservative: The acid is also used as a natural food preservative as the increased acidity will lower the pH of the foods thus inhibiting and delaying bacterial and fungal growth subsequently increasing the shelf life of a product. The acid is also used in canned foods to maintain the flavor and prevent the spoilage of canned food.
  • Vitamin C production: Citric acid is extensively used in the production of Vitamin C.
  • For marinating meat: The acid is used to marinate meat as the proteins in the meat are easily broken down by the acid making the meat tender and easy to consume.
  • Wines and Beers: The acid is added to wines to improve taste of the wine and lower its acidity while the acid helps in converting sugar in beer.

   Pharmaceutical Industry:

  • The acid is used in laxatives.
  • Used in medicines to alleviate heartburn and acidity in combination with acetaminophen and sodium bicarbonate.
  • Also used in insecticides and pesticides to destroy bacteria, fungus and mold.

Beauty Industry:

  • The acid is added to numerous skin care products to match the pH levels of the creams and gels with the natural pH of our skin. Due to the anti oxidants the acid has anti aging properties. It also rejuvenates the skin by exfoliating and aiding newer cell growth. The acid rarely causes an allergic reaction in people even in those who have sensitive skin which doubles up as an advantage for the beauty industry. The acid also helps in reducing the discoloration and pigmentation of skin in addition to playing a role in controlling acne.
  • The acid is a component of shampoos to enhance their foaming properties and they help in better stain removal when they are added to detergents.

Conclusion: After understanding the benefits citric acid offers us it is imperative that we consume the acid from naturally occurring sources. However, if required prescription pills of citric acid can also be ingested to improve certain health conditions.

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