Is Citric Acid Vitamin C? | Is It Considered A Natural Preservative?

Citric acid is a weak organic acid. It occurs naturally in produce, especially citrus fruits such as limes, oranges, and lemons.

Citric acid is usually found in citrus fruits, mainly lemons, and limes. It’s what gives them their tart, acidic taste.

This article explains we discuss differences between natural and manufactured citric acid and explores its benefits, safety, and uses.

I had earlier shared: Lemon With Warm Water In Morning?. I hope you read the post.

Is Citric Acid Considered A Natural Preservative?
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What is citric acid?

Citric acid is a very weak acid. In its original form, it looks like small crystals, clear, similar to salt. Although it is odor-free, it has an acidic taste.

Manufacturers often use citric acid in many prepared foods, and vitamins, and beverages. In addition to giving flavor, it also acts as a preservative.

I also wrote a tutorial on: Is Gatorade Acidic?. That you can follow.

Is citric acid vitamin c?

Citric acid is a natural acid and component of many fruits and fruit juices. It’s not a vitamin or mineral and is not required in the diet. However, not to be confused with vitamin C, citric acid is beneficial for kidney stones.

Learn more: Does Vitamin C Help With Covid?

Is citric acid considered a natural preservative?

Generally used as a food additive as a natural flavoring and a preservative, citric acid is used in cosmetics, medical purposes, and cleaning products.

Natural food sources of citric acid

Citrus fruits and juices are the best natural sources of citric acid.

There are some examples of citrus fruits include:

  • Lemons
  • Pomelos
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Limes
  • Tangerines

Other fruits contain citric acid but in lesser amounts. These include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries

Beverages and food products that contain these fruits — such as tomatoes ketchup, also contain citric acid.

While not normally occurring, citric acid is the byproduct of cheese, wine, and bread production.

Uses of citric acid

Citric acid is an additive because of its minimal environmental impression. The 3 main industries that use citric acid are food, cleaning products, and cosmetics.


Citric acid acts as a chemical in many foods, keeping them fresh. It does this by slowing or helping stop the formation of bacteria, yeast, mold, and fungus.

It maintains a food’s color, texture, and flavor. This delays how food spoils, increasing its shelf life.

You must read this article: How Do You Get Bacterial Meningitis?


Citric acid provides several benefits when added to your skincare products. It can brighten your skin, minimize fine lines, and also skin tone.

Manufacturers use citric acid as an additive in deodorant, hairspray, and body spray. It protects cosmetics and personal care products to ensure they do not grow mold, fungus, or bacteria.


Citric acid has many impressive health and skin benefits.

Citric acid is very effective at killing dangerous bacteria, and it is beneficial for cleaning products. However, it has to brighten properties that are useful for stain removal.

Here are some benefits of citric acid.

Evens skin tone

Manufacturers use alpha-hydroxy acids in skincare products because of their resurfacing properties. In addition, as citric acid is a natural form of AHA, it can benefit the skin.

AHAs remove the top layer of your skin, showing a new layer underneath.

To learn more, you can read: Hyaluronic Acid For Acne

Kills bacteria and viruses

Citric acid has a high pH level of between 2–6. This means it is an almost weak acid. The pH scale spans 0–15, with seven being neutral. Therefore, items that are 0 are acidic, and those that are 14 are basic.

It can help prevent viruses such as the norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting virus, from passing between people. By binding to receptors where the virus attaches, it prevents it from taking hold. This helps prevent transmission and reduces the worsening of norovirus infection.

Protect against kidney stones

Kidney stones are solid masses produced of crystals that originate in your kidneys.

Citric acid helps with more energy metabolism, the absorption of minerals, and the treatment of kidney stones.

Learn more: What Do Kidney Stones Feel Like?

Safety and risks

Manufactured citric acid is usually recognized as safe by the Food Administration.

One research found joint pain with swelling, stomach pain, and shortness of breath in four people after eating foods containing manufactured citric acid.

These symptoms were not seen in people consuming natural forms of acid, such as limes and lemons.

A small report recommends that the mold residues from manufactured citric acid lead to allergies and other illnesses, but this has still to be proven.

I recommend you to read following posts that will help you: Best Homeopathic Medicine For Stomach Problems


Citric acid is usually found in citrus fruits, but synthetic versions produced from mold are commonly added to foods, supplements, medicines, and cleaning agents.

While mold residues from the manufacturing process trigger allergies in a few cases, citric acid is usually deemed safe.

Suggested post: How Can I Boost My Immune System?

I tried to cover as much as I could for blog name, but if you still have a question in your mind, feel free to give us comment.

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