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Citric Acid

Alternate Names

Sodium Citrate


Naturally occurring acid found in citrus, other fruit and coffee. Traditionally, citric acid was derived from citrus by fermentation process of the fruit sugars. Currently, most citric acid is derived from the sugars of corn or molasses instead. Produces a sour taste and is one of the most widely used acids in food flavoring. Used to flavor, adjust pH balance, cure meats, prevent certain flavors, firm vegetables, brighten colors and preserve food.

Citric Acid - Quick Stats

Sodium Citrate

Allergy Information


Firming Agent, Emulsifier, Preservative, Antioxidant, Acid, Flavoring



Additional Information

Used as firming agent for vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, potatoes. Citric Acid is also used to help prevent and dissolve kidney stones due to its ability to balance acid levels in urine. Sodium Citrate does contain sodium, so sodium sensitive people should limit intake.

Found In

beverages, soda, ice cream, candy, fruit juice, wine, juice, jam, canned fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit, cheese spreads, dressings, preserves, cheese, mayonnaise

Possible Health Effects

In large or concentrated amounts can cause tooth erosion

Allergy Information

Contains Sodium (those on sodium restricted diets should limit), Unknown, Corn, May be Genetically Engineered or Modified

Online Resources/Related

Print Resources

Copyright May 20, 2010 Be Food Smart, Updated February 19, 2013

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