Citric Acid

Citric Acid: An Ingredient for all Industries

Most people relate citric acid with fruit, and rightly so. This versatile acid occurs naturally and in large amounts in citrus fruits and berries. With its distinctly sour flavor, it is widely used as a flavoring and preservative for candy and food, but the Jacksonville chemical supplier, Bell Chem, has an abundance of other uses for citric acid in foods, beverages, personal care, and nutritional products.

  • Food and Beverages: The weakly acidic citric acid is a commonly used preservative since it has the ability to alter the pH when added as an ingredient to food or beverages. Since microbes generally have a limited pH range for growth and reproduction, citric acid controls or eliminates microbial growth. Because microbes shorten food shelf life, citric acid extends the amount of time a food remains fresh. Citric acid also prevents oxidation to fruits and vegetables, which keeps fresh foods from turning brown.

  • Industrial Uses: In cheesemaking, citric acid is a proven stabilizer of emulsions. Because it prevents fats from separating, cheese flavors remain constant with every bite. Beer and wine manufacturers use citric acid as a pH adjuster. In the frozen food industry, antioxidants extend shelf life; citric acid stimulates antioxidants to keep foods from spoiling. In detergents, stains dissolve more rapidly with the use of citric acid.

  • Personal Care: Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics utilize citric acid as a pH adjuster. Added to cosmetics, citric acid can be used in facial and skin products to stimulate epidermal cell regeneration. Many cosmetics focusing on lightening or depigmenting the skin — such as acne creams, wrinkle removers, or anti-aging creams — use citric acid as an ingredient. It is also an ideal mineral supplement to regulate pH and stimulate antioxidants.

  • Nutritional Products: Citric acid plays a leading role in the Krebs cycle, the process through which animals and plants metabolize energy. It also binds to any excess calcium in the blood to remove it from the body; since calcium is a main component in kidney stones, citric acid can reduce or prevent kidney stones.

Bell Chem’s citric acid is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Order this chemical and many more from Bell Chem, your Jacksonville chemical supplier. Bell Chem’s headquarters is in Longwood, FL — just north of Orlando — with hundreds of products stocked in our 50,000+ square-foot warehouse. You can expect the highest quality products, expedited shipping options for maximum efficiency, and unrivaled, personalized customer service. Let our knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives and accounting staff handle all your needs by calling 407-339-BELL (2355) or send us an online message.

Product Spotlight: Citric Acid FCC

Citric acid is a white or colorless crystal with no odor that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, most notably citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines. The “FCC” is Food Chemicals Codex and is a guide on the standards of food purity, and citric acid FCC is guaranteed to be pure and fit for consumption. Many industries use citric acid for its versatility. The Orlando food ingredient supplier, Bell Chem stocks this product and hundreds of others for its customers. To learn the value of citric acid FCC, read below.


  • Citric acid is widely used in beverages as a flavor enhancer to give sodas a crisp, tangy taste. This flavor is also highly prized in candy, gum, and other products that appreciate a zing of lemon, lime, or orange flavor.
  • Although it is considered a weak acid, citric acid is one of the strongest acids that can be consumed, which makes it perfect for foods and beverages.
  • As an acidifier, citric acid is used in both industrial and home canning since it raises the pH of fruits, vegetables, or other canned products without affecting the taste.
  • Citric acid is a chelating agent, meaning it adheres to metals and removes them from their surroundings. Citric acid is able to safely remove metals from products associated with foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and beverages.
  • In products with high pH levels, citric acid acts as a buffer to bring the pH down to levels more precise for consumption. Pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages use citric acid for this role.
  • In ice cream and other products, citric acid acts as an emulsifier to keep fats from separating and clumping.
  • Caramel would undergo crystallization of its sucrose component without citric acid.
  • Dyes are normally basic, so citric acid is added to balance the pH and cause the dyes to react more promptly to their intended materials. Surprisingly, shampoo rinses containing citric acid remove hair dye!
  • Citric acid is a food preservative, extending the shelf life of many products.

With its wide range of applications, it is no wonder so many manufacturers turn to citric acid as a multi-use product. Call the Orlando food ingredient supplier at Bell Chem today by calling 407-339-2355 (BELL) to learn about their vast array of products. Read the blogs for facts concerning food ingredients, supplements, chemicals, personal care products, and sanitation chemicals.


The Uses of Citric Acid in the Food Industry

As a citric acid supplier, we know that most people associate citric acid with citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, for instance. Citric acid also occurs in peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, and most berries. For humans, citric acid is a vital component of the Krebs cycle in metabolizing and oxidizing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The food industry utilizes citric acid in a much different fashion, with its marvelous acid fermenting, catalyzing, preserving, and flavoring foods and beverages.

  • Cheese Manufacturing: – The cheese industry uses citric acid, particularly with mozzarella. It utilizes citric acid as a catalyst to quickly ferment milk. Faster fermentation means large-scale operations can create cheese more rapidly.

  • Shelf Life: Bacteria needs a stable pH to survive. Because citric acid reduces the pH to levels too low for most bacteria, the shelf life of processed foods increases dramatically for jams and jellies, canned foods, meat products, and other foods.

  • Taste: Along with preserving carbonated beverages, teas, and juices, citric acid adds the sour or acidic flavor consumers enjoy.

  • Emulsifier: Citric acid acts as a vegetable fat emulsifier. Because fats are unable to coagulate, ice cream and sherbet retain a consistent texture and flavor throughout.

  • Effervescence: When coupled with sodium bicarbonate, citric acid effervesces. Fizzy candies, carbonated beverages, and powdered drinks, as well as antacid tablets and powders, owe their effervescence to this chemical reaction. In fact, approximately 50% of citric acid production is utilized in beverages.

  • Beer & Wine: Because citric acid is a weak acid, it is often utilized to create an acidic environment in beer and wine production.

  • Absorption: Many common vitamins and minerals work more expediently within an acidic pH environment. Citric acid is used in dietary supplements to accelerate absorption. Also, without citric acid, a vitamin C tablet would taste quite bitter.

To learn more about citric acid or any of our other products, contact the citric acid supplier, Bell Chem, at 407-339-BELL (2355).