Citric acid can be found in citrus fruits and it has amazing benefits. What is the taste of citric acid? Just think lemon. If you ever had a bite of a lemon, you have tested citric acid. Of course, often manufactures add citric acid to processed foods. Also, medicine with citric acid treats health issues such as kidney stones. So, it’s safe to say that there are many benefits of citric acid.
All animals and all plants have some citric acid at least in traces of it. On top of that packaged food, cleaning products, domestics have some manufactured versions of citric acid.
As mentioned, citrus food especially lemon and lime are high in citric acid. Also, some other vegetables and fruits have natural citric acid. Foods with the highest amount of natural citric acid are lemon, organs, limes, berries, tangerines, pomelos, and grapefruit. Some other foods contain citric acid in lesser amounts which are strawberries, cranberries, tomatoes, pineapple, raspberries, and cherries.
What is the Effect of Citric Acid on the Body?
There are many amazing benefits of citric acid. Citrate is the first molecule formulated during the process called the citric acid cycle. These chemical reactions help you transform food into usable energy. Humans as well as other organisms gain the majority of their energy from this cycle.
Additionally citric acid enhances the bioavailability of minerals allowing the body to absorb better minerals. Calcium citrate doesn’t require any stomach acid for absorption. On the other side, citric acid has some side effects such as bloating, constipation, and gas. Therefore, calcium citrate is a much better option for those who have less stomach acid which is common for older adults.
Citric acid prevents new kidney stone formation and breaks apart from those already formed within our body. Citric acid protects against kidney stones by making your urine less favorable for the formation of stones. Consuming foods high in natural acid like citrus fruits can offer similar kidney-stone preventing benefits.
In conclusion, citric acid helps energy metabolism, prevention or treatment of kidney stones and the absorption of minerals.
Is Citric Acid Harmful to the Body?
Manufactured citric acid is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. However, no scientific study investigated the safety of manufactured citric acid when consumed in large amounts for a longer time. There have been reports of allergic reactions and sickness to the additive. Also, some reports found harmful effects such as joint pain swelling, stiffness, stomach and muscular pain, shortness of breath. The effects were found after consuming foods that contain manufactured citric acid.
These somewhat harmful symptoms were not observed in people who were consuming natural forms of acid that can be found in limes or lemons.
However, even in some of these reports, researchers acknowledged they couldn’t prove the manufactured citric acid was responsible for the symptoms. It takes more further research to be done for any negative effects. The scientists believe that the side effects are probably more related to mold that’s used to produce citric acid.
Does Citric Acid Kill Bacteria?
Citric acid is often used for cleaning because citric acid kills some fungi, effectively kills bacteria and mildew. Also, it’s great for disinfecting, cleaning, and sanitizing. If you want to remove hard water stains, soap scum and calcium deposits, rust, and lime, you need citric acid. Lemon juice contains 5% to 8 % citric acid and it’s often used in green cleaning.
You will find citric acid in several different cleaning products such as oven cleaners, metal cleaners, dishwasher cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, bathroom, tub, carpet cleaners, dish soaps, air fresheners, stain removers and window cleaners.
Citric acid is proven to be very effective in cleaning stubborn stains even in its natural form. Often lemon is used for green cleaning. The acid in lemon is antiseptic and antibacterial. Lemon can be used as a natural bleach. On top of that, the smell of lemon is refreshing. Although lemon can do a great job with cleaning, it’s not a disinfectant so it’s not a substitute for bleach or any related product that can remove dangerous microbes from cooking surfaces.
In that case, the best option can be green products that are based on lemon. Those products will bring you the best results.
What Does Citric Acid Do to Food?
Often citric acid is added to drinks and food. It can also be found in personal care products, cleaning products and medications.
Citric acid is added to packaged drinks and food. When used, citric acid helps jarred and canned foods to remain fresh for a longer period. Also, it can prevent fresh products like sliced apples to remain fresh instead of turning brown.
Citric acid helps thicken food and gives them a somewhat sour flavor. Often you will find citric acid listed as an ingredient in foods that need to be thicker such as sorbets, ice creams, and sodas.
What else does citric acid do to food? It can balance out the acid in food and drinks as well. That’s one of the reasons why citric acid is used by winemakers to improve the taste of the wine.
Besides foods and drinks, you will find citric acid in medicines that help with skin infections or in medicine to lower the amount of acid in urine. Citric acid is used in supplements like calcium citrate that can prevent kidney stones.