citric acid anhydrous

Uses of Citric Acid Anhydrous in the Beverage Industry

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What is Citric Acid Anhydrous?

Citric acid anhydrous, a tricarboxylic acid compound, is naturally present in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapes, imparting a sour taste. Its chemical formula is C6H8O7.H2O, signifying a variant of citric acid with the absence of a water molecule. While the alchemist Jabir Ibn Hayyan traced its discovery back to the 8th century, it wasn’t until 1784 that Carl Wilhelm Scheele successfully isolated pure citric acid from lemon juice. Notably, the anhydrous form offers advantages over other derivatives like monohydrate citric acid due to its water absence, This makes anhydrous citric acid products suitable for beverage products because of their speed for dissolving in liquid objects. Anhydrous citric acid has lower molecular weight than anhydrous citric acid due to the absence of water bonds. In addition, the absence of water molecules makes there is no need for moisture conditioning to maintain the quality of anhydrous citric acid. The two reasons above make the anhydrous citric acid superior to anhydrous citric acid in terms of storage and treatment. In the realm of the beverages industry, this compound serves as an acidulant, flavouring agent, preservative, and anti-staling agent.

Applications of Citric Acid Anhydrous in Beverages Industry

citric acid anhydrous

Derived from citric acid, citric acid anhydrous undergoes additional processing involving water to yield crystalline structures. In the past, citric acid extraction involved fermenting carbohydrates like starch or sucrose-based media. Three primary fermentation methods were employed: submerged fermentation (SmF) in a liquid substrate, surface fermentation on solid or liquid substrates where microorganisms flourish on the substrate’s surface, and solid fermentation on a low-moisture solid substrate.

Following the formation of the citric acid solution, the method comprises the following steps: crystallizing a citric acid solution under the circulating stirring condition to obtain a crystal slurry solution; changing the initial temperature of the crystal slurry solution to repair crystals in the crystal slurry solution, and obtaining a solution containing the anhydrous citric acid crystals. Through the technical scheme, recesses in crystal surfaces can be effectively removed, and residues in mother liquid in the crystals are reduced, so that the content of water in the crystals is reduced; moreover, anhydrous citric acid molecules on the crystal surfaces are rearranged in a repair process, so that the quality is effectively improved and readily carbonizable substances are reduced. 

1. As an Acidulant

Functioning as an acidulant, citric acid anhydrous operates by liberating H+ ions, leading to a reduction in pH through reactions with the solution. While various compounds like lactic acid, malic acid, ascorbic acid, and acetic acid also exhibit acidulant properties, citric acid boasts distinctive advantages that solidify its standing as a premier acidulant. The key merit lies in its sour taste, imparting a fresher, lighter, and more natural profile attributable to its origin from fruits. This feature makes it particularly well-suited for food and beverages aiming to evoke a fruity sensation. Additionally, citric acid stands out by avoiding side effects commonly associated with phosphat acid, such as swelling effects in carbonated drinks.

2. Preservatives Agent

In its capacity as a beverages preservation ingredient, citric acid anhydrous serves two primary functions: antimicrobial and antioxidant. Acting as an antimicrobial agent, citric acid anhydrous leverages its acidic properties to lower the pH of food, creating an inhospitable environment for microorganism growth. Simultaneously, in its role as an antioxidant, citric acid anhydrous functions as an electron donor, effectively reducing free radicals and stabilizing molecules. This enhanced stability disrupts the oxidative chain reaction. The incorporation of citric acid as a preservative has proven instrumental in extending the shelf life of a diverse range of products, including snacks, candies, sauces, and more.

3. Anti-staling Agent For Beer

A crucial application of citric acid anhydrous in beverage industry is its significant role as an anti-staling agent in carbohydrate-based beverages such as beer, alcohol, etc. Drinks that experience staling, in this example are Beer, will experience a significant decrease in quality. This change can be seen in the taste and appearance of beer. Staling can occur by a process called starch retrogradation. In this case, citric acid anhydrous has a role in influencing the pH of the beer by providing an acidic atmosphere. An acidic atmosphere will affect the development of microorganisms that cause staling. Apart from that, acidic conditions can affect the activity of the amylase enzyme which will prevent the beverages from experiencing staling.

Recall the combination of amylose and amylopectin. When their bonding is too robust, it can lead to an excessively sturdy structure. Hence, citric acid anhydrous has the capability to create a compound with metal ions, subsequently hindering the bonding process between amylose and amylopectin. 

Side Effects of Citric Acid Anhydrous

Given the myriad applications of citric acid anhydrous in the realm of beverages, it becomes imperative to exercise caution and optimize the required levels. Excessive usage can detrimentally affect the product’s taste. Moreover, an overabundance of citric acid may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, manifesting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The levels of citric acid anhydrous can also pose adverse effects on dental health. The acidic nature of this compound has the potential to erode tooth enamel, resulting in a thinner tooth layer and often accompanying discomfort in the form of tooth sensitivity. It is advisable to carefully consider and regulate the quantity of citric acid anhydrous to mitigate these potential negative impacts.


Generally, citric acid anhydrous, one form of the citric acid group, characterized by its acidic nature and single water bond, offers numerous advantages in the food and beverages sector. Its utility extends to serving as an acidulant, flavouring agent, preservative, and anti-staling agent deriving benefits from its capability to release ions , engage in reactions with various products, and the capability to acidize the environment.

Additionally, the hygroscopic properties of citric acid anhydrous crystals are influenced by the presence of water molecules. Despite the manifold positive aspects, it is crucial to be mindful of potential risks associated with its use. The optimal solution lies in employing the compound in appropriate quantities and ensuring the quality of the citric acid anhydrous product intended for use. ChemTrade Asia has ready stock of high-quality citric acid industrial compound in sufficient quantity for your needs. Give us a call today!