Powdered citric acid, also known as lemon salt or sour salt, is colorless, water-soluble crystals with a strong tart flavor. It is found naturally in citrus fruits, especially in lemons and limes. When it comes to its common uses, perhaps the best known one is serving as a food preservative and flavor enhancer. However, you may not know that it can come in handy in cleaning, medicine, cosmetics, and other industries too. So, now let’s find out what exactly this weak organic tribasic acid can do for you.
Uses in food
Since citrate has a mild refreshing acidity, it is commonly used in a variety of beverages, soft drinks, wines, candies, snacks, biscuits, canned fruit juice, dairy and other food products. By the statistics, it has more than 70% current market share of organic markets. That’s to say, nothing else can replace it so far. And citric acid monohydrate is known for imparting a sour taste to soft drinks, fruit juices, jams, and canned fruit or meat. Besides, it can act as an antioxidant to prolong the shelf-life of bulk edible oils too. As an added bonus, it improves the sensory properties of food, increases appetite and promotes the digestion and absorption of calcium and phosphorus inside the body.
Uses in cosmetics
As a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid, it mainly promotes the keratin metabolism in the epidermis. As a result, it is commonly used in lotions, creams, shampoo, whiteners, anti-aging supplements, and acne products. Apparently, a keratin update can help remove melanin from Skin, minimize pored, and dissolve blackheads.
Uses in sterilization
When it is heated to 176 degree Fahrenheit, it can kill germs and, more importantly, effectively destroy the bacterial spores that contaminate the pipe of hemodialysis machine. Thanks to the strong bactericidal effect and palette pleasing flavor, lemon is widely used in many foods and drinks in the forms of juice, rind and zest.
Uses in cleaning and stain removal
It is good for cleaning and stain removal. For example, lemon juice can brighten copper cookware, dissolve the tarnish, deodorize, remove grease, and bleach stains. If it is combined with baking soda, its cleaning properties will be much better in removing food stains from plastic containers. It is worth mentioning that lemon peel oil is also a good wood polish and cleaner while lemon and orange oil are considered an awesome nontoxic insecticide treatment these days.
Uses in chemical, medicine and textile industries
It can be used as reagents for chemical analysis, laboratory, chromatography and biochemical purposes. In addition, it is used for the preparation of a buffer solution too. When acting as a builder, citric acid or citrates are able to improve the performance of cleaning products, quickly precipitate the metal ions, prevent contaminants from re-adhering to the fabric, keep the necessary alkaline in washing, disperse and suspend dirt and ash, improve the performance of the surfactant, and so on.
Uses in body health
Drinking a glass of lemonade every morning before breakfast can greatly enhance gastrointestinal motility, relieve constipation, detox your body, improve your complexion, get rid of bad breath, improve vision, and so on.
The lesser known fact is that lemon can be an amazing expectorant too. What’s more, it has stronger expectorant effect than orange. By the way, adding warm water and salt can make lemon juice more powerful in helping cough up the mucus in throat. Besides, the combination of honey and lemon juice can relieve sore throat, which is usually the first sign that you’re catching a cold or getting the flu.