Citric acid, with a formula C6H8O7, is a key intermediate in metabolism. It is an acid compound found in citrus fruits. The salts of citric acid (citrates) can be used as anticoagulants due to their calcium chelating ability.
Anhydrous citric acid is a Calculi Dissolution Agent and Anti-coagulant. The mechanism of action of anhydrous kind is as an Acidifying Activity and Calcium Chelating Activity. The physiologic effect of the anhydrous one is by means of Decreased Coagulation Factor Activity.
It is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks.
In biochemistry, it is important as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle and therefore occurs in the metabolism of almost all living things.
It also serves as an environmentally benign cleaning agent and acts as an antioxidant.
Citric acid exists in a variety of fruits and vegetables, but it is most concentrated in lemons and limes, where it can comprise as much as 8 percent of the dry weight of the fruit.
Anhydrous Citric Acid is a tricarboxylic acid found in citrus fruits. Citric acid is used as an excipient in pharmaceutical preparations due to its antioxidant properties. It maintains stability of active ingredients and is used as a preservative. It is also used as an acidulant to control pH and acts as an anticoagulant by chelating calcium in blood.
Applications of Citric acid
Citric acid is employed in too many tasks. You may be using a lot of citric acid at your home you might not be even aware of. The following are the various uses of citric acid.
1. Added To Preserve Food
Citric acid is present in a lot of processed food and the labels show it as “E330”. It is used in the canning process as it helps to maintain a healthy Ph balance inside the foods and helps to prevent botulism (a harmful form of food poisoning).
2. For A Tangy Sour Flavouring
Citric acid is used in many beverages too. Here, it is used as a seasoning ingredient. It has a natural sour taste and is used to flavor candies like the lemon or the orange that you love!
3. As A House Cleaner
Instead of using other artificial cleaners which can be harmful to sensitive people, pregnant women, and children; citric acid serves a natural house cleaner. It can be used as a dishwashing agent and as a toilet cleaner naturally.
4. As A Foot Soak
If you add citric acid to your foot routine, you will say goodbye to toenail infections and foot odor.
In a bucket of lukewarm water add equal amounts of citric acid and baking soda along with a few drops of tea tree oil.
Soak your feet in it. You will notice positive changes in your foot health. Repeat this twice for few days.
This is one of the best home remedies to get rid of foot odor.
5. As A Mouth Rinse
Citric acid can also be used as a mouth rinse. But, it should not be taken in large quantities or it will lead to tooth decay. This is used to get rid of the bitter taste in the mouth.
6. For Skin Care
Citric acid can be used for a lot of home masks and it is beneficial for the skin as it helps to remove dead cells and speed up the production of new ones.
7. Helps To Improve Kidney Health
Citric acid has alkalizing properties which help to bind calcium and therefore preventing the formation of kidney stones. It also helps to keep the kidneys in a proper functioning state.
8. Fights Free Radicals
Free radicals are the reason behind the growth of cancerous tumors in the body. Citric acid is an antioxidant fight off the ill effects of free radicals by neutralizing them.
9. Improves Mineral Absorption
Citric acid helps the body to absorb minerals as it mixes with minerals and metals easily. This makes it useful as the body is able to absorb all the minerals and nutrients from the food you eat.
10. Cures A Sore Throat
Citric acid can cure a sore throat by killing the infection-causing germs. Gargle with a solution of citric acid and water for quick results.
11. For Homemade Bath Bombs
Citric acid can also make fun easy to make bath bombs. Pop it in your bathtub and the fizz will be delightful!
To a bowl, add citric acid powder, baking soda, any food color, grated lemon zest and essential oils. Mix them well and bind them by using rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit. Make them into any shape and let them dry before using.
12. To Prevent Sugar Crystallizing
If you are preparing homemade jams, sugar syrups or sherbets, chances are that your sugar may crystallize. Bring citric acid to the rescue.
Add this powder at the end, this not only will prevent sugar from crystallizing but will also improve color and taste of your dish.
13. As A Water Softener
Water softening is the process of removal of calcium, magnesium and other metal from hard water. Soft water interacts much better with soaps and detergents. Citric acid is a widely used water softener.
Citric acid is a relatively common ingredient used in cosmetics products to balance the pH levels. According to CosmeticsDatabase.com, small amounts of citric acid can be found in shampoos, body wash, face cleansers, nail polish, hand soap and other cosmetics products. Some people may be sensitive to citric acid, so use caution when applying a cosmetic product containing the acid.