The global market for Citric Acid is projected to reach US$4. 0 billion by 2025, driven by widespread applications in food & beverages; detergents & cleaners; pharmaceutical and cosmetics; and industrial processing. In food and beverages, It is used as a preservative and flavoring agent, while in soaps, laundry detergents and cleaning products it is an excellent chelating agent; in cosmetics/skin care products It is also used as a pH adjustor and thickening agent. It is also used as urinary alkalinizers as a combination of citric acid and citrate salts in the treatment of urinary tract infections. Citric acid, a weak organic acid, is obtained in natural form from citrus fruit family. In biochemistry, citric acid is obtained during the metabolism of aerobic organisms. Citric acid is found in wide range of vegetables and fruits, particularly in citrus fruits in more than the trace quantity. Some of the fruits which possess high concentrations of citrus acid include limes and lemons, constituting about 8% of their total dry weight. The citrus acid concentration in these citrus fruits varies with oranges constituting about 0. 005 mol/L and 0. 30 mol/L for limes and lemons. These concentrations, however, are dependent on the cultivator and environment around the cultivation. Citric acid is also obtained from the fermentation of corn, molasses and other biomass materials. Chemically formulated as 2-hydrox-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylic acid, citric acid is extensively used in the soft drink industry as an ingredient in a wide range of products. The chemical imparts a characteristic `tartness` to carbonated and still beverages, augments the sweetness of sugar and is complementary to fruit and berry flavors. The product is the most widely used acidulants while lactic acid, phosphoric acid and malic acid also add distinct qualities and taste. Citric acid is white translucent crystalline hygroscopic product, and is available in two forms namely Monohydrous Citric Acid and Anhydrous Citric Acid. Monohydrous citric acid contains 90 percent water whereas anhydrous citric acid does not contain water. Given its important role as a preservative, stabilizer, and flavorant in processed foods and beverages, the rapidly rising consumption of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages is expected to spur demand for citric acid in the coming years. The recent years have been witness to the launch of several novel and innovative beverage products, especially those with exotic and ethnic fruit flavors as well as flavor blends. The rising consumption of RTD drinks, especially healthy beverages, as well as soft drinks is leading to high demand for citric acid, which hold an edge over other acidulants in terms of their ability to improve shelf-life of products, enhancing flavor and tartness and pH buffering. Besides, the ingredient is used for adjusting pH balance while manufacturing foods such as gelatin-based desserts, jam and jellies among others.
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