Citric acid is a natural acid that exists in many fruits and vegetables, but is well known for high concentrations in some citrus fruits such as lemons and limes. Citric acid can also be produced by feeding sugar to a certain type of mold called Aspergillus niger. This technique was discovered in 1917 and is still used today to produce citric acid. This acid has many important applications and more than a million tonnes are made each year.
Uses of citric acid
The most common use for citric acid is as a preservative and flavoring in beverages and food products. It has a strong sour flavor, which is utilized in many sour candy products. It is also used to balance the pH level of certain food coloring agents. It is also added to products such as ice cream where it prevents the fats from separating. It is used in cheap wine to produce the required sour taste. It may also be used in the manufacture of cheese and sourdough bread.
Citric acid is often used together with sodium bicarbonate in products that are designed to effervesce. This includes bath salts, bath bombs and in various other products.
Citric acid is also important to the cleaning industry where it can be used to clean grease, remove scale and remove certain stains. It is also used to soften hard water and it is for this reason that it is added to many soap, detergent and household cleaner products. It is also added to some shampoos because it has the ability to remove wax and coloring from the hair. Citric is also a common ingredient in many other cosmetic products.
It can also be used in the developing of photographic film where it is used in a stop bath. This bath is used to quickly neutralize the developing agent and stop it from developing the photo.
Citric acid is used as an ingredient in antiviral facial tissues.