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Application of Citric acid
Food and drink
Powdered citric acid being used to prepare
Because it is one of the stronger edible acids, the dominant use of citric acid is as a flavoring and preservative in food and beverages, especially soft drinks and candies.
it is denoted by
. Citrate salts of various metals are used to deliver those minerals in a biologically available form in many
. Citric acid has 247 kcal per 100 g.
properties of citrates are used to control
in household cleaners and
. In the United States the purity requirements for citric acid as a food additive are defined by the
Food Chemicals Codex
, which is published by the
United States Pharmacopoeia
Citric acid can be added to ice cream as an emulsifying agent to keep fats from separating, to caramel to prevent sucrose crystallization, or in recipes in place of fresh lemon juice. Citric acid is used with
in a wide range of
formulae, both for ingestion (e.g., powders and tablets) and for personal care (
, and cleaning of
). Citric acid sold in a dry powdered form is commonly sold in markets and groceries as "sour salt", due to its physical resemblance to table salt. It has use in culinary applications, as an alternative to vinegar or lemon juice, where a pure acid is needed.
Citric acid can be used in
to balance the pH level of a normally basic dye.
Cleaning and chelating agent
Citric acid is an excellent
, binding metals by making them soluble. It is used to remove and discourage the buildup of
from boilers and evaporators.
It can be used to treat water, which makes it useful in improving the effectiveness of soaps and laundry detergents. By chelating the metals in
, it lets these cleaners produce foam and work better without need for water softening. Citric acid is the active ingredient in some bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. A solution with a six percent concentration of citric acid will remove hard water stains from glass without scrubbing. In industry, it is used to dissolve rust from steel. Citric acid can be used in shampoo to wash out wax and coloring from the hair.
Illustrative of its chelating abilities, citric acid was the first successful
used for total ion-exchange separation of the
, during the
in the 1940s. In the 1950s, it was replaced by the far more efficient
Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and foods
Citric acid is widely used as an
in creams, gels, and liquids of all kinds. In its use in foods and dietary supplements, it may be classified as a processing aid if the purpose it was added was for a technical or functional effect (e.g. acidulent, chelator, viscosifier, etc...) for a process. If it is still present in insignificant amounts, and the technical or functional effect is no longer present, it may be exempted from labeling <21 CFR §101.100(c)>.
Citric acid is an
alpha hydroxy acid
and used as an active ingredient in chemical peels.
Citric acid is commonly used as a buffer to increase the solubility of brown
. Single-use citric acid sachets have been used as an inducement to get heroin users to
their dirty needles for clean needles in an attempt to decrease the spread of HIV and
. Other acidifiers used for brown heroin are
; in their absence, a drug user will often substitute lemon juice or vinegar.
Citric acid is used as one of the active ingredients in the production of antiviral tissues.
Citric acid is used as an odorless alternative to white vinegar for home dyeing with
Sodium citrate is a component of
, used for identification both qualitatively and quantitatively, of reducing sugars.
Citric acid can be used as an alternative to nitric acid in
Citric acid can be used as a lower-odor
as part of the process for developing
are alkaline, so a mild acid is used to neutralize and stop their action quickly, but commonly used acetic acid leaves a strong vinegar odor in the darkroom.
Citric acid/potassium-sodium citrate
can be used as a blood acid regulator.
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