Citric Acid

Citric acid is not so very potent organic tribasic acid. The chemical formula of this organic acid is C6H8O7. It is naturally present in all types of citric fruits. In biochemistry, citric acid is intermediary in the citric acid cycle, which comes about during the metabolism of entire aerobic organisms.

Citric acid possesses the aptitude to blend with liquids easily, which makes this acid very valuable. Lemons as well as limes contain elevated concentrations of this acid, which is responsible for the bitter flavour. In addition, the content of citric acid in oranges and tangerines is very high. Citric acid is also present in specific berries, especially blackberries and raspberries.

Often, citric acid is employed in the form of a flavoring agent in several preparations of vitamin C. This acid has a wide variety of uses in several different areas. Citric acid is widely used in industry as an excellent natural cleaner. However, some acids may contain other chemicals and, hence, they cannot be called completely natural. Currently, citric acid is also being widely used for preparing photographs.

Aside from readily mixing with liquids, citric acid also binds with various metals and minerals easily, a process known as chelation. Taking particular minerals with citric acid may prove to be helpful, as our body will be able to assimilate chelated minerals. For instance, a number of calcium supplements may be available as calcium citrate. In fact, our body is able to assimilate them better.

Since citric acid possesses the ability to bond with various other minerals, it is useful in softening water. Even the efficiency of soaps as well as laundry detergents can be increased when they enclose citric acid. It may also be used as an active ingredient in shampoos, as this acid has a propensity to get rid of excessive minerals that may be present in water. Nevertheless, occasionally presence of elevated concentration of citric acid in shampoos may harm the hair, as it opens up the hair cuticles. At the same time, it can remove the valuable minerals from the hair and bleach the hair.

Citric acid is also widely used in the form of a food additive. This acid is also added to specific drinks to augment their flavour, particularly different types of soft drinks. Citric acid also performs as a wonderful meat tenderizer, as it has a tendency to break down the proteins in meat. Nevertheless, as citric acid has a bitter flavour, one of the main uses of this acid in foods is to ensure candy sour.

Therefore, when you purchase sour candies you will notice that several of them have a fine white powder covering. These fine white particles are citric acid, which not only serves as an external coating to the sour candies, but are also responsible for their somewhat sour flavour. The flavour of citric acid may make your mouth pucker or it may also induce a dry feeling in the mouth. Adding more amounts of citric acid will cause the candies to be sourer.

If you watch the details on the packaging, you will notice that an assortment of cleaning products and, these days, even several beauty products, contain citric acid. When citric acid is mixed with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and added to your bath, it causes fizzes in the water. The blend of these two chemicals results in carbon dioxide, which yields pleasing, effervescent water.

Citric acid is widely used as an active ingredient in some lotions and even skin masks. It is believed that citric acid possesses antioxidant properties, which are effective in refreshing the skin and, at the same time, make the skin youthful by encouraging new skin grown and also by eliminating the harmful free radicals. On the other hand, exposure to too much citric acid may cause gentle irritation to the skin. Therefore people with sensitive skin will do better if they avoid using skin products containing citric acid.

Among the various health benefits offered by citric acid, is that it is a naturally occurring organic substance that does not present any threat to the environment. Citric acid seldom causes allergic reactions. In fact, not many people have allergic reactions to this organic acid. However, there may be some people whose stomach may be sensitive to this acid, Such people would be better off if they stay away from citric acids and various foods and other items containing this acid. Therefore, it is important to go through the product labels carefully, because many products may contain citric acid in the form of a preservative. So, people sensitive to this acid need to be additionally careful.

Health benefits and uses

It is advisable that you regularly drink lime and lemon juice along with some other fruits, as it will help to augment your health in general. Moreover, citric acid is helpful in treating kidney stones, since this organic acid has an influence on the balance in the urine.

It is believed that citric acid possesses wonderful restorative properties, which are very useful in treating a wide variety of digestive problems. Therefore, drinking lemon water on a regular basis is an assured means to treat bloating, belching and heartburn. It has been found that the citric acid concentration in lemon juice is very high and, hence, it promotes digestion. At the same time, lemon juice also helps to improve bowel movements, thereby preventing constipation.

It has been proven that citric acid is excellent when taken internally. This organic acid helps to lower physiological stress levels, while aiding in ensuring that your energy levels are high. This is particularly helpful for people who do a lot of hard work and are engaged in various physical activities. Moreover, citric acid is also useful for promoting metabolism in the digestive process. This acid particularly works by targeting carbohydrates and breaking them down into water and carbon dioxide. This, in turn, aids the system to function further effectively.

This acid is also beneficial for the health of our kidneys and urinary system. It is generally used in the form of a dietary supplement for this purpose. Precisely speaking, it has been established that citric acid promotes the health of our urinary tract.

Citric acid is also useful in putting off the development of kidney stones and breaking down the kidney stones that have been already formed. In fact, it has been found that more citric acid in an individual's urine is always better. This is an indication of the fact that he/ she faces less risks of developing kidney stones. This is mainly because this acid possesses alkalizing properties that helps it to break down various minerals that make up kidney stones.

Citric acid also serves as a potent antioxidant and is very effective in neutralizing the harmful free radicals inside the body. This acid works to eliminate all oxidizing substances inside the body, thereby helping in lowering the chances of developing cancer.

Despite being an acid, it helps to lower the levels of acidity in the blood stream. In this way, citric acid helps to lower the incidences of metabolic acidosis, which may usually result in many serious health problems.

This acid is also an excellent remedy for sore throats. Gargling with this acid diluted in water helps to provide relief from sore throats and related symptoms.

Citric acid possesses mild acidic properties which makes this organic compound an excellent cleansing agent. You can add this acid to dishwashing detergents to make the water softer, thereby getting rid of hard water deposits from you dishwashers, dishes, kettles, coffeemaker and even pipes. This process is called descaling.

Many people also add citric acid to their skin care products, shampoos and also use it in photography. Using this acid in shampoos helps to reduce the pH level, thereby making the hair smoother and more radiant. Similarly, using citric acid in skin care products will help in enhancing the skin cells' health, as it promotes collagen production. Moreover, this acid also serves as a potent antioxidant.

Last but not the least important, you may use citric acid on freshly cut fruits. In addition, you can substitute lemon juice with citric acid while making canned foods at home. While citric acid has the same action as lemon juice as far as preventing fresh fruits from decomposing, it also controls the level of pH in canned foods, thereby preventing the growth of bacteria. In addition, citric acid can also be added to homemade jams, marinades and many other things.


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