Sodium citrate dihydrate (C6H5O7Na3 . 2H2O) is a colorless, odorless granular or powdery buffering agent derived from citric acid. The buffering properties of sodium citrate dihydrate enable its use in the food industry, medical industry, and cleaning industry, among others. In the food industry, sodium citrate dihydrate is utilized as a preservative with a sour taste comparable to citric acid, as well as a salty taste due to the sodium in its chemical makeup. Other applications in the food industry include
- pH control – in combination with citric acid – of many foods and beverages due to its buffering properties
- emulsifying salt used primarily in processed cheese products
- anticoagulant of fresh livestock blood in meat products
- curing accelerator and, as mentioned previously,
The medical industry uses sodium citrate dihydrate as a buffer to control pH in much the same manner it interacts with foods. It is also utilized as an alkalizing agent, an emulsifier, a plugging agent, and a sequestering agent. The buffering properties of sodium citrate dihydrate are used in the treatment of cystitis as well as rapid loss of fluids in the body due to heavy perspiration or intestinal disruptions.
Another common use for sodium citrate dihydrate is in household cleaning products. Its ability to build detergents and its expedient biodegrading ability make sodium citrate dihydrate environmentally advantageous.
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