What's the deal with citric acid: the one ingredient found in almost every food product you buyEver wondered why citric acid is outlined in almost every food or drink ingredient label? This little product is situated in from iced tea to hummus and organic and natural salsa. Let's look into what citric acid is and what it's used for so universally in the meals industries.
Citric acid solution defined
When I first scanned an ingredient label and observed citric acid, I pictured lime or lemon juice draw out or something benign and citrus. But actually, modern-day citric acid solution is manufactured by fermenting sugar. Citric acid looks as a white, powdery product which tastes very much like lemon juice. It is made by fermenting Aspergillus niger mildew, which produces citric acid as a byproduct of metabolism. This peculiar and cheap approach to acquiring inexpensive citric acid solution (instead of squeezing actual lemons and limes which is too expensive) was found out in 1917 by American food chemist Wayne Currie.
Exactly why is it found in so many foods?
Citric acid is used as both a taste enhancer and a preservative component. It provides a tart, citrus style to foods to give a more strong flavor, while at the same time balancing the pH of foods and increasing acidity levels to preserve it for much longer. In short, it increases the acidity of your microbe's environment, so that it is harder for mold or bacterias to survive and reproduce. So that it makes sense that citric acid is situated in so many modern products considering the positive traits it offers. But these positives don't come with out a price, as you will see below.
The issues with citric acid
The condition with citric acid solution is that it can potentially be produced with GMOs. Acid Citricis made with the use of sweets beets or corn, which, if you follow the GMO concern, you know these two are some of the largest offenders of GMO foods in america. There are also some GM types of an. niger which are used to produce citric acid.
There are also other health implications that can come up from consuming citric acid independent from the GMO issue. Citric acid has been recognized to irritate the digestive system (ascorbic acidity has similar qualities), causing heartburn symptoms and harm to the mucous membrane of the abdomen. The eyes, skin and respiratory body organs can also suffer scratchy, itchy sensations from overconsumption of citric acid solution. There are also European studies which suggest that citric acid could be accountable for promoting tooth decay as well.
And so significantly you won't find cautionary claims of any sort on any products caution you about citric acidity. If you choose to try to avoid citric acid solution, good luck; its in nearly every food product imaginable, organic or not.