Acidity regulator, antioxidant and sequestrant
It has been made commercially by the large-scale fermentation of sugars using the mould Aspergillus niger or yeasts.
Occurs very widely in nature.
Citric acid is a normal component of body cells and will be degraded and used by the body without side effects.
As well as giving flavour, its addition to a food formulation lowers pH, which inhibits microbial growth and spoilage. It has antioxidant properties, protecting sensitive flavours, and is a powerful sequestering agent, binding metal ions that are responsible for the onset of rancidity.
Soft drinks (carbonates, squashes, nectars and powdered beverages), sugar confectionery, jams, jellies, preserves, soups and sauces.
Allowed to use in Europe and the US.