Fruits That Contain Citric Acid


Fruits That Contain Citric Acid. Citric Acid is naturally found in fruits such as oranges, lemons and pineapples. It is one of the most commonly used acids for cooking. This article contains a list of Citric Acid containing fruits. Citric acid is an organic compound that plays a vital role in the primary metabolism of animals and plants. It is soluble in water and crystallizes in a rhombic shape. Nutritional supplements containing citric acid are used for boosting overall health. Fruits that contain high amounts of citric acid have powerful antioxidants and can affect the production of enzymes in the human body.

What Fruits Have Citric Acid?

There are many fruits that have citric acids. Fruits that include citric acid are mostly citrus fruits. Those fruits include grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine/mandarin orange and oranges.


White, star ruby and pink/red are the major well known grapefruits. The three all include a “tangy-sweet flavor.” There are more vitamins in the pink and red grapefruit.


The lemon was first found in China.There are sweet and acid lemons. There are two man common acid lemon selections available they include lisbon and eureka lemons.


Limes or Citrus Aurantifolia are another fruit that have citric acid. They have also helped for better health including digestion, gout and scurvy.

Tangerine/Mandarin Orange

Tangerine or mandarin oranges have skin that is thin and is easy to peel. The are often called “kid-glove.”


Many people get their source of vitamin c from oranges or orange juice. Oranges contain potassium, citric acid, niacin, magnesium, calcium, thiamin and folacin.

Are Citric acid rich fruits bad for your health?

01/7​Are you eating citrus fruits? Is it bad for your health?

Fruits have been an inseparable part of our lives and since childhood we all have some fond memories of sitting under the sun and eating Oranges or plucking Mangoes from the tree and eating them right away. Well, fruits will always be a part of our fond memories, but most of us love citrus fruits for their enticing and refreshing sweet-tangy flavour, which gives a burst of flavours and taste in every bite.

With an increasing awareness towards healthy eating, fruits have become a quintessence of our daily diet. Ever since, the Corona virus scare has engulfed the masses, there has been a drift towards immunity boosting fruits, and this is why Vitamin C packed citrus fruits have been the new fad food among people. Apart from vitamin C, these fruits are also rich in Citric acid, which is also used in disinfectants, but is it safe to eat these fruits? Read on.

02/7​Why are Citrus fruits important?

Citrus fruits like Lemons, Organes, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Strawberries, Raspberries and Cranberries, etc; Have been some of the most loved citrus fruit and it is believed that consuming two citrus fruits on a daily basis can keep several ailments at bay. This is due to the presence of Vitamin C.

According to health experts, citrus fruits are great immunity boosters as they are loaded with vitamin C , which helps in increasing the production of white blood cells, which gives the body ample resistance to fight infection causing antibodies. Thus, vitamin C in citrus fruits helps in boosting a healthy metabolism and immunity. It also helps in combating seasonal cold, cough, flu, bacteria and virus attacks to an extent.

03/7​What is citric acid and is it harmful?

Citric acid is one of best natural preservatives, found in citrus fruits, especially lemons. In fact, the presence of Citric acid gives your citrusy fruits that tangy-tarty taste and the aromatic favour. It is one of the most common food preservatives used across the world, but there are two main types of Citric acids:

-Natural Citric acid found in fruit.

-Processed Citric acid used as a food additive, cleaning purposes or other commercial uses.

04/7​Difference between natural and chemically processed Citric acid

The naturally occurring Citric acid was first discovered In 1748 by a Swedish researcher by analyzing the lemon juice.

However, due to its tarty and acidic nature, it was a potential preservative and a disinfectant, this was later explored by research that Citric acid can also be extracted from black mold, Aspergillus niger, which feeds on sugar and creates Citric acid. Black mold predominately belongs to the fungi family. This Citric acid was also used as a preservative and disinfectant.

You would be amazed to know that Citric acid found in juices, aerated drinks and other food products are manufactured Citric acid. This is simply because, deriving Citric acid from natural fruits can be an expensive affair.

However, Citric acid from fruits and berries are a healthy and edible source of acid and have some potential health benefits also, but the manufactured Citric acid may pose some health complications and lead to food allergies.

What Is Citric Acid?

cut lemons with bowl of citric acid

Citric acid is a natural component of fruits and fruit juices, with the most significant amounts found in citrus fruits. It’s what gives lemons and limes their characteristic sour flavor. Lemons and limes contain the most citric acid of any fruit, but other citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits—and even some berries—contain large amounts as well.

Health Benefits

One of the most important roles of citric acid is its involvement in energy metabolism. In fact, the citric acid cycle (also known as the Krebs cycle) is the metabolic pathway by which foods are broken down into water, carbon dioxide, and energy.

Citric acid may also prevent or slow the formation of kidney stones. When citric acid is in your urine, it binds with calcium, breaks up small stones that may be forming, and deters stone formation from happening by altering the pH.

Another benefit of citric acid is that it increases your body’s absorption of certain minerals like magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

Citric Acid in Food

Citric acid is most often naturally found in citrus fruits and juices, but it is also present in smaller amounts in other fruits. Some foods that naturally contain citric acid include:

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruits
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes


Citric acid is most commonly manufactured and used as a food additive. About 70% of all manufactured citric acid is used as an additive to food. But manufactured citric acid is also used in medications, dietary supplements, and some cleaning products.

Food Additive

Citric acid is used both as a natural flavor enhancer and preservative in a variety of foods, such as jams and jellies and canned fruits and vegetables. It’s also used in ice cream, fruit drinks, candy, and carbonated beverages. It helps regulate acidity, functions as an antioxidant, and helps retain color. Because of its low pH and acidic profile, citric acid can also help protect against botulism in canned goods and other preserved foods.

Citric acid was first produced in England from lemons in the early 1800s. Lemon juice was the primary source of citric acid until 1919, when the first industrial process using a bacteria called Aspergillus niger began in Belgium. Now, about 99% of the world’s manufactured citric acid used as a food additive today is made by fermenting A. niger.

Medication and Dietary Supplements

Citric acid and its close relative citrate are used as inactive ingredients in certain medications and dietary supplements. Citrate can be used to control the pH and mask the bitter taste of some medicines because of its acidity and slightly sour taste. It is also often added to supplements to make nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and zinc more bioavailable and easier to absorb.

Cleaning Products

Citric acid and citrate are commonly used in household and commercial cleaning solutions to remove stains, odors, and hard-water buildup. Just as when used as a food or drug additive, its natural acidity also makes it useful in controlling the pH of household cleaners.

Health Benefits of Citric Acid

cartoon lemon and oranges

You’ve probably eaten citric acid without even realizing it. It’s a natural acid present in limes, lemons, and other citrus fruits. It’s what gives citrus fruits their sour taste. We also produce citric acid for use as a common food additive, nutritional supplement, and cleaning agent. However, this synthetic citric acid is different from naturally occurring citric acid found in sour citrus fruits. Please continue reading to learn more about the potential health benefits of this naturally occurring organic acid. Also, learn about possible citric acid side effects. 

What is citric acid?

Natural citric acid is a weak organic acid that is found in all citrus fruits. Artificial citric acid is made from a fungus called Aspergillus niger (black mold). Because it has a sour, tart, or acidic taste, citric acid is frequently used in food additives and as a flavoring agent in packaged and processed foods like soft drinks and candies.  

What are the sources of naturally occurring citric acid?

Sour citrus fruits like limes, lemons, oranges, tangerines, pomelos, and grapefruits are good natural sources of citric acid. Other fruits that contain citric acid in smaller amounts include strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, pineapple, cherries, and tomatoes.

What are the artificial sources and uses of citric acid?

The citric acid found in packaged foods and dietary supplements is man-made – it’s not the natural form found in citrus fruits. This is because obtaining citric acid from natural sources is too expensive and cannot meet global demand.

  • Approximately 70% of manufactured citric acid is used by the food and beverage industry as a food additive and flavoring agent in processed foods. Citric acid is also used while canning fruits to prevent a serious illness called botulism. 
  • Roughly 20% of manufactured citric acid is used in dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals as a stabilizer and preservative. Some mineral supplements such as calcium and magnesium contain citric acid in the form of citrate to improve absorption.
  • The remaining 10% of manufactured citric acid goes into beauty and cleaning products.

What are the health benefits of taking citric acid?


Citrate — a molecule that is closely related to citric acid — plays an important role in the Krebs cycle (also called the TCA cycle or citric acid cycle). This is a series of chemical reactions that release energy from food. Humans derive most of their energy from this chain of events.


Some supplements of alkaline-forming minerals like calcium and magnesium are available in citrate forms. Citric acid enhances their bioavailability and allows the body to absorb them better without needing much stomach acid. For example, calcium citrate is absorbed better than calcium carbonate and has fewer side effects. Similarly, the citrate form of magnesium is more readily absorbed than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate.


Citric acid — in its potassium citrate form — alkalinizes your urine. This may help to break down small kidney stones and prevent the formation of new kidney stones. 


Citric acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs like citric acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, tricarboxylic acid, and malic acid are common ingredients in skincare products because they resurface the skin, giving you a more even skin tone and fewer fine lines. People with dark spots, pigmentation, and scars may find citric acid beneficial.


Citric acid is a relatively weak acid with a pH between 3 and 6. However, citric acid kills bacteria and viruses that cannot survive in an acidic environment. For example, citric acid helps to prevent the spread of norovirus infection (winter vomiting bug). 

Risks Associated with Citric Acid

Citrus fruits contain naturally occurring citric acid and are generally recognized as safe. However, the manufactured citric acid that is added to foods, supplements, medicines, and cleaning products is a synthetic version called MCA. As mentioned above, it is made from a mold called Aspergillus niger. In a small number of people, mold residues from the manufacturing process can trigger allergic reactions and significant inflammatory reactions with symptoms like muscle aches, joint pain, and digestive problems. 

Other risks associated with both natural and artificial sources of citric acid are that in large quantities it can damage the tooth enamel. That’s why you should rinse your mouth with water after eating foods that are rich in citric acid.

Lastly, if you use skincare products that contain citric acid, you should know that when present in high concentrations, it can cause skin irritation and make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to avoid products that contain citric acid.

Citric Acid: The All Purpose Tool You Need

It may be hard to believe, but citric acid is probably one of the most important and versatile products to have in your home. If you don’t know what citric acid is, you’ve come to the right place.

Citric acid is an odorless, colorless organic acid and it is the primary component from citrus fruits like lemons and limes. The acid is what gives these tangy fruits that sour, tart flavour. It is used in the food industry as well as the manufacturing industry. It can be used in nutritional supplements, food additives, beverages, beauty treatments and in various cleaning agents, as well as assist in the preservation of medicines.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns


Citric acid is very helpful in breaking down bacteria and extending the shelf life of various food products such as meats, canned vegetables, baby food, baked goods, beverages and even certain types of cheese. It can also enhance the flavour of these foods.

Odoo - Sample 2 for three columns


This amazing organic acid acts as a water softener. It can create tight bonds between molecules making it an excellent ingredient in the soap making process. Citric acid can even be added to bath bombs if you choose to go that route. Just wait until you see the fizz!

Odoo - Sample 3 for three columns


Citric acid has been known to contain restorative powers. It can treat various conditions that relate to digestion. Putting a slice of lemon in your water can assist in reducing uncomfortable digestive issues such as heartburn, belching and bloating. Lemon juice can also prevent constipation from occurring and keep you regular.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns


Believe it or not, citric acid can turn bad skin into glorious skin. This versatile ingredient is also used in face masks and various treatments for reducing acne, lightening skin, preventing wrinkles and so much more. You can save money by avoiding the expensive face treatments by grinding some citric acid crystals in a mortar, adding some yogurt, honey and oil from a vitamin E capsule and then applying the mix to your face. Voila! You are on your way to glowing skin!

Odoo - Sample 2 for three columns


This super-versatile natural cleaner is extremely safe and natural for families to use when cleaning their homes. It doesn’t give off any harmful toxic fumes that can be highly dangerous for children and pregnant women to inhale. You can easily get rid of mildew, mold and bacteria and free your home of germs. You can add a few spoons of powder to water to clean your stained coffee pot, toilet bowls, sink fixtures, showers, bathtubs and clean surface areas.

Odoo - Sample 3 for three columns


Adding lime and lemon juice, as well as other citric acid fruits like oranges and grapes into your daily diet has been known to prevent the growth of large and painful kidney stones. Citric acid affects the citric balance in urine and can help break up smaller stones as they

What is Citric Acid?

Citric is a weak organic acid with the chemical formula C6H8O7. Citric acid is one of the large numbers of metabolites produced by aspergillus species.

Citric acid is a naturally occurring acid. It is found in various fruits and vegetables. Example of citrus fruit – lemon which has the highest amount of citric acid.

Citric acid was first isolated in 1822 from lemon juice by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who also established its composition. In many consumer goods, in the food and beverage sectors, citric acid is used. As an acidulant, in soft drinks and syrups, it stimulates a natural fruit flavour and gives the required degree of tartness. Citric acid is an intermediate organic compound in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, found naturally in citrus fruits, pineapples, pears and crystallised as calcium citrate. It is mainly produced by fermentation.

Citric Acid Benefits

Citric acid forms a wide range of metallic salts including complexes with copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and calcium. These salts are the reason for its use as a sequestering agent in industrial processes and as an anticoagulant blood preservative. It is also the basis of its antioxidant properties in fats and oils where it reduces metal-catalysed oxidation by chelating traces of metals such as iron. There are two components to its use as a flavouring the first is due to its acidity, which has little aftertaste; the second to its ability to enhance other flavours.

A process to remove sulphur dioxide from flue gases has been developed where citric acid is used as a scrubber, forming a complex ion which then reacts with H2S to give elemental sulphur regenerating citrate. This may become more important with increased environmental pressures.

Citric acid esters of a range of alcohols are known, the triethyl, butyl and acetyl tributyl esters are used as plasticizers in plastic films and monostearyl citrate is used instead of citric acid as an antioxidant in oils and fats.

Citric Acid Structure

Powdered Citric Acid Uses

We get a citric acid powder which is white. It helps in improving kidney health, throat infection, getting rid of acne etc. Some other citric acid uses are:

  • Used as a food additive
  • Used in cleaning
  • Used as cosmetics
  • Used in water softener
  • Used in Industries

1. Food Additive

  • Citric acid is used in food as a flavouring agent and preservative.
  • It is used in processed food products like beverages, soft drinks etc.
  • Due to its sour taste, it is used in making certain candies.
  • Sometimes the sour candy is covered with white powder which is citric acid.
  • To keep fat globules away some ice cream companies use it as an emulsifier.

2. Cleaning Agent

  • Citric acid is one of the chelating agents.
  • With the help of citric acid limescale from evaporators and boilers is removed.
  • It is used in soaps and laundry detergents as water is softened by the acid.
  • Household cleaners used in the kitchen and bathroom also contain some amount of citric acid.
  • It is not only used as a cleaner but also as a deodorizer.

3. Cosmetics

  • Citric acid helps in the removal of dead skin so used for home masks.
  • Improves skin tone and skin growth reducing wrinkles, acne scars etc.
  • To balance the pH levels citric acid is commonly used as an ingredient in cosmetics.
  • It is found in hand soap, body wash, nail polish, face cleansers, shampoos and some other cosmetics products.

4. Water Softener

  • Citric acid is used as a water softener in detergents, because of its an organic acid, chelating, and buffering properties.
  • The chemical properties of citric acid as a weak organic acid make it a strong softener for water.
  • It operates by breaking down the trace quantities of metal discovered in water, making it an optimal all-natural option for hard water treatment.

5. Industrial Uses

  • Industrial uses of citric acid include detergent manufacturing, electroplating and leather tanning.
  • Citric acid is also used as a preservative for stored blood and a buffer and antioxidant in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
  • Several fungal-derived acids have significant commercial value and have found wide-ranging applications in the food, feed, pharmaceutical and polymer industries.

Citric acid is one of many metabolites produced by Aspergillus species. Citric acid possesses sweet-and-sour sensory notes, and succinic acid has a salty—bitter taste. With the change in soil and climatic condition, the citric acid amount in vegetables and fruits also varies.

A mixture of citric acid and ascorbic acid is used as a dip for oily fish to prevent surface tissue from becoming brownish and gummy, a condition known as rusting. Production by fermentation resulted in drastic lowering and stabilisation of the price of citric acid.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

1. What are common uses for citric acid?

Citric acid is used in a number of other fields, in addition to its use in cleaning products, such as personal care, forestry, dairy, pharmaceutical, and electroplating. As a preservative, flavouring agent, and vegetable rinse it helps in the food industry.

Is citric acid good for your body?

Consuming foods that contain naturally occurring citric acid (from, say, lemon or lime juice) have advantages because it acts as an antioxidant, meaning that it protects the body from damaging free radicals. Eating huge quantities of antioxidants aids with everything from heart protection to cancer prevention.

What are the side effects of citric acid?

Serious side effects of citric acid and sodium citrate include muscle twitching or cramping, swelling or weight gain, fatigue, mood changes, swift and fast breathing, rapid heart rate, anxious feeling, black or bloody stools, extreme diarrhoea or seizure (convulsions).

Is citric acid a disinfectant?

Yes, citric acid is a disinfectant. It is great for general disinfection and cleaning because citric acid kills bacteria, mould and mildew.

Is ascorbic acid the same as citric acid?

Citric acid and ascorbic acid are two types of acid used for two different purposes of food preservation. Although both are acids, they are not identical. Citric acid has a greater acidity than ascorbic acid.

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