Citric Acid 50% Solution
Citric acid, a naturally occurring weak organic acid found in many fruits and vegetables, particularly in citrus fruits, has a myriad of uses ranging from culinary to cosmetic and even industrial. When dissolved in water at a concentration of 50%, citric acid becomes a potent solution with distinct properties and applications.
Table of Contents
1. Background Information
Origin and History
Citric acid was first isolated from lemon juice by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1784. While it’s prevalent in many fruits, lemons and limes have the highest concentrations, reaching as much as 8% of the dry weight. Today, however, most of the commercially used citric acid is not extracted from fruits but rather manufactured through a fermentation process using the mold Aspergillus niger.
Citric acid, scientifically known as C₆H₈O₇, is a weak organic acid comprising three carboxyl groups. This tricarboxylic structure is what lends it its unique properties and functionality in various applications.
2. Properties and Characteristics
- Appearance: When pure, citric acid is a white crystalline powder. At a 50% concentration in water, the solution appears as a clear to slightly hazy liquid.
- Odor: Citric acid has a slightly acidic odor, characteristic of citrus fruits.
- Taste: It has a sharp, tart taste, which is why it’s often used as a flavoring agent.
pH: A 50% solution of citric acid in water will have a pH less than 1, making it highly acidic.
3. Applications and Uses
Citric Acid 50% Solution offers a plethora of applications across various industries:
- Food Industry: Used as a preservative, flavor enhancer, and to prevent oxidation.
- Cosmetic Industry: Employed in creams and gels for its astringent and antioxidant properties.
- Pharmaceuticals: Serves as an acidulant in effervescent tablets and syrups.
- Industrial: Used in cleaning agents to dissolve rust and limescale, and as a pH adjuster.
4. Safety Precautions
While Citric Acid 50% Solution is generally safe for various applications, certain precautions should be observed:
- Avoid direct contact with the skin or eyes as it can cause irritation.
- Use gloves and safety glasses when handling in an industrial setting.
- Ensure adequate ventilation when used in enclosed spaces to avoid inhalation of vapors.
- Store away from children’s reach.
5. Storage and Handling
Proper storage and handling ensure the longevity and efficacy of Citric Acid 50% Solution:
- Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Keep container tightly sealed to prevent contamination and evaporation.
- Use plastic or stainless steel containers for storage as citric acid can corrode certain metals.
- Do not mix with alkaline substances or any incompatible materials without proper knowledge and precautions.</l