Is Citric Acid Safe?

Is citric acid really natural?

Chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovered that citric acid could be naturally created by crystallizing lemon juice. However, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer expounded on the chemists James Currie’s theory that discovered certain strains of mold could be used to synthetically curate citric acid.

In the current age, most citric acid is not made from lemons, it is derived from mold. Most commercially produced citric acid is derived from aspergillus niger, which is a form of black mold. This form of citric acid is made by manipulating sugars exposed to black mold and filtered using sulfuric acid, which is a genetically modified organism (GMO). Citric acid was formerly made from fruit, but corporations found a cheaper short-cut by producing the GMO form. Unfortunately, this is now the common practice. GMO derived citric acid is a common ingredient, food additive, and preservative which can trigger allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to it.

Originally, citric acid was a natural compound and is still found naturally in citrus fruits, however the Frankenstein form of it created from GMO sources is the dominantly used in commercial products.


Is it Safe?

Citric acid is not listed as toxic by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they do not mandate that companies state whether the citric acid they used in products is derived from natural sources or synthetically created.  

Currently there are no scientific studies that evaluate the safety of mold-derived citric acid when consumed for an extended period of time.

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about citric acid sensitivity and be sure you are using natural ingredients.



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