Sour Salt / Citric Acid – Plays a Significant Role in Health, Food Safety, Nutrition & Preservation

Sour Salt Definition: Sour salt is commonly known as citric acid in many households & groceries. It is a dry ingredient usually found in powdered form and resembles similar to table salt. It is also known as sodium citrate, which is sodium salt of citric acid.

It is widely used as an additive, acidifier or flavoring agent in foods, pharmaceuticals and carbonated beverages. These fine crystals give flavorsome tartness to any food or soft drink. It is also categorized in spices.

 citric acid powder

The general formula of Sour Salt/ Citric Acid is C6H8O7. It was discovered by famous 8th century alchemist known as Jabir ibn Hayyan or Geber. Every Year, more than million tonnes of sour salt are produced in the world by the process of fermentation.

Sour Salt aka Citric acid occurs in two forms, Monohydrate form and Anhydrous form. The former occurs due to crystallization of citric acid using cold water, while the latter occurs due to neutralization with hot water.

Many fruits and vegetable contains high concentration of citrate such as lemons and limes. The citric acid cycle is known as Krebs cycle or Tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), which is a series of chemical reactions in the cell that breaks down food molecules into carbon dioxide, water, and energy.

The major events of Krebs cycle is shown in the below image. The carbon skeleton of the intermediates has been included, while the enzymes are omitted for clear animated view.

 krebs cycle

Sour salt is generally used as a flavoring agent and preservatives in food and beverages. Due to its crystalline form and odorless nature, it is hghly soluble in water. It is denoted by E330 in European Union. Sour salt is natural preservative and organic ingredient, which balances the taste of sweet and sour exceptionally well in foods and beverages.

Sour Salt is used in sausages, homemade lemonade mixes and canning to preserve and prevent discoloration. It is a natural preservative or conservative for adding distinctive sour taste to foods and drinks. When added to dishwasher, it will take the soap scum off your glasses.  It is also used in preparation of personal care products such as bath salts, bath bombs, and cleaning of grease.

Health experts encourage usage of sour salt rather than lemon juice for chefs because it doesn’t interfere easily with tomato flavor. It also reduces browning in peeled and chopped fruits. Candies, sweets, ice creams and soft drinks are delightful simply due to the tartness of sour salt. It is even mixed with sugar for powdery coatings on sour candy confections and seasonings on desserts.

Sour Salt or Citric Acid’ Benefits:

  • Water Softening
  • Canning
  • Seasoning And Coating
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medicines
  • Cosmetics
  • Cleaning and Detergent Agent
  • Food Preparation
  • Flavoring
  • Food Preservation And Conservation
  • Dyeing
  • Industrial and Construction purposes (Instead of nitric acid)
  • Photography

citric acid

The “citric acid” or “sour salt” which is commonly available in the supermarket may vary from what is labeled as “citric acid” in the drug store because citric acid is usually mixed with sodium hydroxide, when used in medicines.

Sour salt is available in ever grocery near you, but best quality sour salt is found online. With the single click of your mouse, you can order soar salt in packets, jars, or bulk form without even leaving your chair. It is available in different quantities so that you can order according to your use or monthly budget.

Many of the top online retailer giants like Amazon ships sour salt free to your home. You can easily clean cleaning coffee machines, washing machine, hot water pots, dishwashers, steam cleaners, steam mops and iron.

One thought on “Sour Salt / Citric Acid – Plays a Significant Role in Health, Food Safety, Nutrition & Preservation

  1. Shaunn Munn

    I love citric acid and wish I could find it at the grocery stores in my area. I don’t buy online due to security problems encountered in the past. Please try to influence more TV chefs to use it. Rick Bayless is the only one I’ve heard of who does. Here in the midwest we’re so behind the times. I get my citric acid from a source over 50 miles away. Would like to buy it at Kroger (where I shop) or Wal-Mart.


Leave a Reply