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Additives and Preservatives

What is citric acid?

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Citric acid is the predominant acid in oranges, lemons, and limes. Citric acid powder is used in food preservation to acidify tomatoes and other products. Commercially, it is used as an antioxidant in instant potatoes and potato sticks to prevent spoilage. It is used in the processing of frozen fruits to prevent discoloration. Powdered citric acid is available in food preservation sections of grocery stores.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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