What is Citric Acid, and Is It Safe?
Of this week this week. We're talking about a food. Ingredient called citric acid off. Remember that in gradient labels citric acid. Yes yeah we see it all in a lot of different food products and people ask you know. Is this safe. You know in what is it. Actually where does it come from. That's a good question. Yeah so citric. Acid is found naturally in citrus fruit. So that's kind of how it gets. Its name and its the particular type of acid that we typically find in a lemons and limes and it's what gives them their tart sour taste. So you would think that okay cool you know that's from its. It's natural is from lemons and limes right But unfortunately that's usually not the type of citric acid. That's in your food products because it would take a lot of lemons and limes to be able to get enough citric acid to be used in the food processing industry so the in in and around The nineteen fifties. It was discovered that it could be made from a A black mold called aspergillus. Djilas niger in when you feed sugar to this mold it creates citric acid of black mold. Not your house exactly. Well you'd be surprised. How many molds are used in the you know to create ingredients they. I'm not sure if i wanted to probably don't wanna know but this is this is how it's made so it's it's actually a odorless colorless compound And up until the nineteen hundreds. We got it from lemon juice but then researchers found that they could make it from this black mold so that is the type that is used in all the food products basically a synthetic manufactured form of the citric acid. So so what are some of. I mean some of the properties of it it. It gives sign of that sour tasting You know flavor to certain things and it's also a preservative. Zoe think about a lemons and limes the citric acid and lemons and limes. You know how when you put If you have a cut open apple if you put some lemon juice on or if you have an avocado you squeeze on some lime juice and that helps protect it from browning right so it has a preservation property to it stops free radicals from you know oxygen stops oxidation so obviously the the symbol of of making it not making it but what it looks like as a molecule citric acid is citric acid citric. Acid right yes. The molecule is the same. Yes so whether it is found naturally in a lemon or whether it's produced through a chemical reaction by combining a black mold was sugar. The end product is this molecule citric acid. Yeah and so. There's a little bit of debate in the natural food world about whether citric acid is safe or not in foods and so. I just wanted to touch on that here. We one is the there haven't been any like actual clinical studies showing that there's any kind of negative impact from citric acid in terms of like negative impact on the body However because it's made from a mold there may be traces of mold in it in like you know and we have to think about well. How much of it is actually being used in the product and how much mold might you know. If there's a trace amounts of mold in that small quantity of citric acid. How much of that is going to actually ended up in the food and will it really have an impact. So they do. We do know that. Some people are super sensitive to molds may have a reaction to it so like if people have food allergies or sensitivities. That might be one of the things. They need to avoid So you know that would be something and if if you get a really good food sensitivity tests that might even show up on a food sensitivity tests citric acid so but i think for the for the general population. That's something that may not necessarily be a problem but of course now there's other considerations the the sugar that's used in this reaction with the mold home is usually from a gmo. Beat oh so now. We're introducing g. m. o. citric acid into a product right. So you know so if that's something also you're trying to avoid gmo's that that would be something to keep on your radar about reading an ingredient list. It's ten it's going to be a gmo Created unless it says. It isn't so you you. You're looking at a product if the product itself says it's a non gmo verified Product than it wouldn't be from that you know they'd be using if they're using citric acid in the product they might be using it from an organic source of sugar so there are different. You know within the food industry there's different levels of quality that you can get with these things so but citric acid in the body. I mean actually has benefits has some impressive benefits and functions so It it creates something called with a once. You consume it. It creates something citrate which is the first molecule that forms during the process in the body called the citric acid cycle. Which basically is the cycle that when know when you consume carbohydrates your body converts those into energy within your cells so that that molecule of glucose which is basically your sugar from your carbohydrates it goes through this whole cycle within your cells called the citric acid cycle and then it turns that sugar into atp energy for every single one of cells so he citric acid is involved that and we need it in our diet who