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beverages, confections, desserts, detergents, fertilisers, gelatine desserts, jams, jellies, pharmaceuticals, processed fruits, processed vegetables, puddings, wine

Citric acid, malic acid and fumaric acid are acidulants, used to add a ‘sour’ taste to foods and soft drinks and as preservatives. Citric acid is a naturally occurring organic acid, common to all living things, and is produced commercially through fermentation. Malic and fumaric acids are synthetic acidulants.

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An excellent buffer  

Understanding the chemistry of citric acid is as easy as ABC.  It is an acid and reduces the pH of a system thereby imparting a sour flavor.  It is an excellent buffer which allows a system to remain pH stable.  It is an very good complexing agent (chelant) and ties up metal ions which can affect the stability of the end product.

Acidulant properties 

Product Key food / beverage properties Flavour profile Key industrial
Citric acid pH reduction, buffer component, metal complexing, high solubility Immediate citrus-sour type pH reduction, broad buffer range, metal complexing, high solubility
Malic Acid pH reduction, buffer component, high solubility Slightly delayed apple-sour type pH reduction, buffer component, weak metal complexing, high solubility
Fumaric acid pH reduction, buffer component, limited solubility Intense acidic sour pH reduction, reactive double bond
Sodium citrate Buffer component, emulsifying salt slightly saline Broad buffer range, emulsifying salt, metal complexing
Potassium citrate Buffer component, sodium substitute Slightly saline Broad buffer range, emulsifying salt, metal complexing
Calcium citrate Calcium supplement neutral Limited industrial application
Zinc citrate Zinc supplement neutral Limited industrial application

The information contained on this site should not be construed as recommending the use of our product in violation of any patent, or as warranties (expressed or implied) of non infringement or its fitness for any particular purpose.  Prospective purchasers are advised to conduct their own tests, studies and regulatory review to determine the fitness of Tate & Lyle products for their particular purposes, product claims or specific applications.

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Quality at the sharp end

Quality at the sharp end

Citric acid is what gives lemons their tang, and at our Dayton, Ohio plant we make it by fermenting dextrose. And we make it to extraordinarily high standards.  Dayton plant has the best quality record in Tate & Lyle Americas, with rejected product reduced to just 0.38 per cent and customer complaints cut from 43 in 2005 to just 5 in 2008.

“Quality is about doing it right first time, but it does not come easy. It requires real effort to make changes, learn from mistakes, and embrace new standards,” says Celi Duran, Quality Assurance Manager, who has run the quality improvement programme since 2005. “Like safety, it’s a way of working that everyone needs to embrace in their jobs, day in, day out.”

In fact, safety has improved alongside quality – the recordable incident rate at Dayton fell to zero in just three years.