Food With Phosphoric Acid


Our food with phosphoric acid, help you to lose weight and maintain healthy living. Phosphoric acid can be found in soft drinks, dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, and buttermilk, and other processed foods like cereal bars, flavored waters, bottled coffee beverages, and processed meats.

Food With Phosphoric Acid

Below, find the top foods high in phosphoric acid. People with chronic kidney disease should limit their intake of these foods because studies have shown that high phosphate levels are linked to an increased risk of mortality or disease progression, per the NIH.

1. Soft Drinks

Woman's hand with glass of phosphoric acid-rich soda

Dark-colored soft drinks are one of the biggest sources of phosphoric acid in the American diet.

Image Credit: tongpatong/iStock/GettyImages

Coke, Pepsi and many other dark soft drinks use phosphoric acid for their sharp flavor and to extend shelf life. Clear soda usually uses citric acid for a similar taste and skips the phosphorus, so it’s a better choice for people looking to limit how much phosphorus they eat or drink.

Cola contains 55 milligrams of phosphorus in the form of phosphoric acid. Unlike other phosphate salts or organic phosphorus, your body is able to absorb 100 percent of phosphoric acid, per an October 2017 report in ​Current Osteoporosis Reports​.

While most health organizations recommend avoiding soft drinks to limit added sugars, even diet soda has health concerns, especially when it comes to your teeth. Even though diet soft drinks (like Coke Zero) are sugar-free, they still contain phosphoric acid and are acidic.

The acidity and sugar from soft drinks create an acid attack on your teeth, which can last 20 minutes after every sip, per the Mississippi State Department of Health.

2. Protein Drinks

While milk naturally contains phosphorus, phosphoric acid is often added to milk or juice-based drinks that use whey for added protein.

Because phosphoric acid is a strong acid, it’s commonly used to change the pH of a beverage using whey, which is a strong base, per the United States Dairy Export Council.

3. Baking Powder

A baked good recipe usually calls for baking soda or baking powder in order to leaven the final product. Baking powder is the combination of baking soda and two different acids, one of which is a salt of phosphoric acid.

When the phosphoric acid salt is combined with water, it begins the leavening process, according to North Carolina State University. The second acid adds additional leavening once the product is heated, making baking powder a “double-acting” leavening agent.

4. Coffee

Shot of coffee beans and a cup of black coffee, a food high in phosphoric acid,  on a wooden table

The acidity in coffee can lead to enamel erosion, but brushing your teeth after drinking java can help decrease the negative effects.

Image Credit: PeopleImages/iStock/GettyImages

Coffee has many different acids including acetic, formic, malic, lactic, quinic, chlorogenic and phosphoric acid, per a June 2019 article in ​Scientific Reports​. Acid types and levels depend on a number of factors, including the type of coffee.

After looking at 10 different varieties of Arabica and Robusta coffees, researchers found that Arabica beans contained less phosphoric acid than Robusta beans, per an October 2017 study in the ​Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology​.

5. Processed Meat

Phosphoric acid and its salts are added to processed meat for a few different reasons: Phosphoric acid acts as a stabilizer and an antioxidant to help maintain texture and limit spoiling, according to a June 2021 article in ​Foods​.

Phosphoric acid and phosphate salts are often added to lunch meat, sausage, bacon and other processed meats.

6. Dairy Products

Various cheeses, cream-based dressings and other dairy products often have phosphoric acid or another acid added to them. Adding an acid to dairy products helps with coagulation.

Foods That Are High in Phosphorus

1. Chicken and Turkey

One cup (140 grams) of roasted chicken or turkey contains around 300 mg of phosphorus, which is more than 40% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). It is also rich in protein, B vitamins and selenium .

Light poultry meat contains slightly more phosphorus than dark meat, but both are good sources.

Cooking methods can also affect phosphorus content of the meat. Roasting preserves the most phosphorus, while boiling reduces levels by about 25%.

SUMMARYChicken and turkey are both excellent sources of phosphorus, especially the light meat. One cup (140 grams) provides more than 40% of the RDI. Roasting preserves more of the phosphorus than boiling.

2. Pork

A typical 3-ounce (85-gram) portion of cooked pork contains 25–32% of the RDI for phosphorus, depending on the cut.

Pork chops contain the least amount of phosphorus, while pork tenderloin contains the most. Even bacon is a good source, containing 6% of the RDI per slice.

Like with poultry, cooking method can affect the phosphorus content of pork.

Dry heat cooking preserves 90% of the phosphorus, while boiling can reduce phosphorus levels by roughly 25%.

SUMMARYPork is a good source of phosphorus, containing around 200 mg per three ounces (85 grams). Dry heat cooking is the best way to preserve the phosphorus content.

3. Organ Meats

Organ meats, such as brain and liver, are excellent sources of highly absorbable phosphorus.

One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of pan-fried cow’s brain contains almost 50% of the RDI for adults.

Chicken liver, which is often used to make the French delicacy pâté, contains 53% of the RDI per three ounces (85 grams).

Organ meats are also rich in other essential nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron and trace minerals. They can make a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

SUMMARYOrgan meats are incredibly nutrient-dense, and contain large amounts of phosphorus and other vitamins and minerals. Brain and liver both contain roughly 50% of the RDI per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving.

4. Seafood

Many types of seafood are good sources of phosphorus.

Cuttlefish, a mollusk related to squid and octopus, is the richest source, supplying 70% of the RDI in one 3-ounce (85-gram) cooked serving (14).

Other fish that are good sources of phosphorus include (per three ounces or 85 grams:

FishPhosphorus% RDI
Carp451 mg64%
Sardines411 mg59%
Pollock410 mg59%
Clams287 mg41%
Scallops284 mg41%
Salmon274 mg39%
Catfish258 mg37%
Mackerel236 mg34%
Crab238 mg34%
Crayfish230 mg33%

Some of these foods, like salmon, sardines and mackerel, are also good sources of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that may protect against cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

SUMMARYMany different types of seafood are rich in phosphorus. Cuttlefish provides the most, with 493 mg of phosphorus per serving.

5. Dairy

It is estimated that 20–30% of phosphorus in the average American diet comes from dairy products like cheese, milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.

Just one ounce (28 grams) of Romano cheese contains 213 mg of phosphorus (30% of the RDI), and one cup (245 grams) of skim milk contains 35% of the RDI.

Uses of Phosphoric Acid in Food Industry – Food Additives

What is Phosphoric acid?

Phosphoric acid is an inorganic mineral that has the chemical formula H3PO4. It is considered as weak acid. Phosphoric acid is also known as Orthophosphoric acid or Phosphoric (V) acid. It is colorless and odorless. Liquid phosphoric acid is also known to have a syrupy consistency.

A pure phosphoric acid is found in crystal that is extracted from rocks (by burning the phosphorus element and adding water to the byproduct). A very low number of phosphorus-containing substances (about 0.1-0.5%) naturally-occurred in several foods, such as poultry, fish, nuts, and egg yolk. Phosphoric acid is an example of corrosive acid. It can also form toxic gas when it is in contact with organic compound (such as alcohol and ketones).

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Uses of Phosphoric Acid in Food Industry

Phosphoric acid can serve for many uses in our daily life. Phosphoric acid also plays an important role in several food industry. It is widely used in the industry due to its cheap prices. A food-grade phosphoric acid is often referred as additive E338.

It is relatively easy to determine whether food products contain phosphoric acid. It can be seen on its ingredients list. Several phosphoric acid names that are usually listed as an ingredient are E338, Orthophosphoric acid, Phosphoric (V) acid, Pyrophosphoric acid, Triphosphoric acid, 0-Phosphoric acid, and Hydrogen phosphate. Uses of phosphoric acid in the food industry can be seen as listed below.

  • Carbonated soft drinks: Phosphoric acid is often added to carbonated drinks to give a sharper and tangy taste. It also helps to slow down the growths of molds and bacteria in sugar formula.
  • Jams: Food-grade phosphoric acid is also used as an additive for jams. It provides a tangy and sour taste.
  • Dairy products: Phosphoric acid is used in the production of dairy products. The salts of phosphoric acid are used to modify the protein and alter the pH level of a product to improve the product’s quality. Examples of dairy products than contain phosphoric acid are milk, buttermilk, and cottage cheese.
  • Food additives: Phosphoric acid is known to be used as a food additive. Some phosphoric acid-based food additives are dicalcium phosphate, hexametaphosphate, sodium phosphate, and tricalcium phosphate.
  • Baking powders
  • Cereal bars
  • Flavored waters
  • Bottled coffee beverages
  • Processed meats

Besides being used in the food industry, phosphoric acid also has many used. Uses of phosphoric acid other than food industry can be seen as listed below.

  • Removal of rust: One of the common uses of phosphoric acid is that it is used as a rust remover. Phosphoric acid has the ability to remove rust from metal surfaces (such as iron and steel). It converts reddish-brown iron (ferric oxide) to a black-colored ferric phosphate. The black ferric phosphate can be easily scrubbed revealing the fresh metal surface. Multiple application of phosphoric acid may be needed for a complete rust removal. It can provide a further corrosion resistance after the application. Phosphoric acid-based rust remover is usually found as green liquid but can also be found formulated as gel.
  • Fertilizers: Fertilizer is the main use of phosphoric acid. Over 90% of produced phosphoric acid is used to make fertilizers. There are three common phosphoric acid-based fertilizers that are used, like triple superphosphate (TSP), diamonium hydrogenphosphate (DAP) and monoammonium dihydrogenphosphate (MAP).
  • Buffer agents: Phosphoric acid is also used as a buffer agent in Biology and Chemistry.
  • Dentistry: Phosphoric acid is used in dentistry as an etching solution. It is used to clean and roughen the surface of your teeth where dental appliances will be placed.
  • Cosmetics: phosphoric acid is used as a pH adjuster in various cosmetics and skin-care products.
  • Raising agent: There are various salts of phosphoric acid that is used as raising agent, such as monocalcium phosphate.
  • Catalyst: Phosphoric is used as a catalyst in the hydration process of alkenes, which is used to produce alcohols.
  • Oxidizing agent: Phosphoric acid is also used as an oxidizing agent in the production of activated carbon. 
  • Livestock feed
  • Soaps
  • Toothpaste
  • Polishes
  • Dyes
  • Detergents
  • Leather treatment
  • Anodizing solution
  • Sanitizing agent
  • Vehicle manufacture
  • Edible oil
  • Sugar refining
  • Yeast manufacture
  • Wet etching agent
  • Bio waste treatment

Health effects that is Caused by Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid may bring us side effects when it is inhaled, ingestion, or get in contact with our body. If you got poisoned by phosphoric acid, you should call a doctor or seek immediate medical treatment. Those side effects can be seen as listed below.

  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stomach cramps
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chemical burns
  • Irritated nose
  • Irritated throat
  • Severe skin burns
  • Permanent eye damage
  • Gastrointestinal problems 

Besides above health issues affected by phosphoric acid, there are also other health effects that are caused by consuming foods and beverages that contain phosphoric acid. Although the effects can be very dangerous at times, it can be avoided by consuming healthier alternatives that do not contain any phosphoric acid, such as sparkling mineral water, switchel, kombucha, and coconut water. Some of those health effects can be seen as listed below.

  • Lower bone density: Study found that athletic teen girls who consume phosphoric acid-containing carbonated soft drinks have five times the risk of bone fractures than those who don’t. Phosphoric acid-containing carbonated drinks were also linked to lower bone density cases in women.
  • Teeth/dental erosion: It is also known that phosphoric acid-containing carbonated drinks may cause tooth enamel erosion (even at a very low level).
  • Major kidney issue: A study found that phosphoric acid may be responsible for urinary changes that promote kidney stones. A research that is done in 2007 also found that drinking two or more colas each day was associated with twice the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
  • Decreases nutrients in the body: An excessive consumption of phosphoric acid may lead to the decreasing of calcium in the body.
  • Increases the acidity in the body
  • Damaging human tissue

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