Have you ever read a food or supplement label, saw that it contained citric acid, and wondered what the heck citric acid is? Though the name sounds half-natural half-synthetic, citric acid is a wonderful natural ingredient that can boost detoxification and support healthy digestion, energy levels, and kidney function. Here, we’ll take a look at this intriguing ingredient and explain how the right type of citric acid can benefit your health.
What Is Citric Acid?
Citric acid is an organic acid found most abundantly in fruits (especially citrus fruits) like lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapples, and oranges. Its chemical formula is C6H8O7. This organic acid was first isolated from a lemon using Aspergillus niger (a fungus) in 1784 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Since then, it has been considered safe for consumption and has GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status from the FDA.
However, just because citric acid was originally isolated from a lemon doesn’t mean it comes from lemons anymore. In fact, most of the citric acid that’s commercially used by the food processing industry as a preservative is isolated from GMO-corn and cultivated on mold.