Citric acid is a natural compound found in all living things, but it is particularly concentrated in citrus fruits. First it was produced from lemon juice, but with a very low yield: about 35 tons of lemons were needed to obtain one ton of citric acid. Some time later it was discovered that there were certain microscopic fungi capable of accumulating citric acid, which allowed its large-scale production.
Indeed, since the end of World War I, and up to the present day, almost all industrial citric acid is obtained from the fungus Aspergillus Niger, which accumulates enormous amounts of the acid and is very easy to grow in large steel fermenters.
Due to its pleasant taste, low toxicity and other physicochemical properties, citric acid has countless applications. It is one of the main food additives, used as a preservative, anti-oxidant, acidulant and flavoring for sweets, soft drinks and other foods.
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