Citric acid: in practically everything on the shelf
Citric acid occurs naturally in such fruits as limes, pineapples and gooseberries. The dry, powdered citric acid used as an industrial food additive since the early 19th century, however has a less appetizing source; it is manufactured using a mould that feeds on corn syrup glucose.
THE PROCESS: How Citric Acid is Synthesized from Genetically Modified Black Mold
- Gamma radiation has been used to modify strains of A. niger mutants, resulting in multiplied or increased production through genetic improvement.
- Further genetic modification in the lab has taken place through the engineering of the glycolytic pathway, resulting in a metabolic-streamlining that facilitates greater citric acid production from sugar, while shutting off side avenues of glycolysis.
Mercury cell chlor-alkali products are used to produce thousands of other products including food ingredients such as citric acid, sodium benzoate, and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is used in food products to enhance shelf life. A pilot study was conducted to determine if high fructose corn syrup contains mercury, a toxic metal historically used as an anti-microbial. High fructose corn syrup samples were collected from three different manufacturers and analyzed for total mercury. The samples were found to contain levels of mercury ranging from below a detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup.
Citric Acid and Sodium Benzoate “Fizz-ion”: A Carcinogenic Contaminate
the Soda Companies Have Known About For Decades
TITLE 21–FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I–FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER B–FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION (CONTINUED)
PART 173 — SECONDARY DIRECT FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
Subpart C–Solvents, Lubricants, Release Agents and Related Substances
Sec. 173.280 Solvent extraction process for citric acid.
A solvent extraction process for recovery of citric acid from conventional Aspergillus niger fermentation liquor may be safely used to produce food-grade citric acid in accordance with the following conditions:
- (a) The solvent used in the process consists of a mixture of n-octyl alcohol meeting the requirements of 172.864 of this chapter, synthetic isoparaffinic petroleum hydrocarbons meeting the requirements of 172.882 of this chapter, and tridodecyl amine.
- (b) The component substances are used solely as a solvent mixture and in a manner that does not result in formation of products not present in conventionally produced citric acid.
- (c) The citric acid so produced meets the specifications of the “Food Chemicals Codex,” 3d Ed. (1981), pp. 86-87, which is incorporated by reference (Copies may be obtained from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20418, or may be examined at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.), and the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon specifications of 173.165.
- (d) Residues of n-octyl alcohol and synthetic isoparaffinic petroleum hydrocarbons are removed in accordance with good manufacturing practice. Current good manufacturing practice results in residues not exceeding 16 parts per million (ppm)n- octyl alcohol and 0.47 ppm synthetic isoparaffinic petroleum hydrocarbons in citric acid.
- (e) Tridodecyl amine may be present as a residue in citric acid at a level not to exceed 100 parts per billion.