Virtually every housewife in the house there is citric acid, which is indispensable in cooking. For nearly a century, it has been used for industrial purposes in the production of a wide variety of products. However, in the past few decades, this food additive is indicated on the package as E330 - a substance responsible for stabilizing products and maintaining the required level of acidity. It would seem that citric acid is completely harmless to the human body, but this is not at all the case. In large volumes, the E 330 can be a serious source of health problems even in completely healthy people.
What is the use of citric acid?
Initially, this white substance, devoid of smell, but with a characteristic sour taste, extracted from various fruits. Citrus fruits and, first of all, lemons were considered to be the leaders in terms of the content of “lemon”. However, if at home the necessary amount of such a preservative and stabilizer can be obtained from the juice of this fruit, then for industrial production of E330 this option is considered to be quite expensive. It is for this reason that in the middle of the last century, the technology of synthesis of citric acid from chemicals was mastered in many countries of the world, which served as a powerful impetus for the development of the preserving food industry. Citric acid is an excellent preservative, since in an acidic environment most of the microbes known to mankind do not survive. In addition, E330 belongs to the category of the most powerful antioxidants, due to which it is possible to preserve the freshness of almost any products. Separately, it is worth mentioning the stabilization qualities of the “lemon”, which perfectly regulates the taste of any food, be it lightly-salted cucumbers or fruit jelly.
E330 application area
Initially, citric acid was used in the food industry and, above all, in the confectionery industry. Sweets and pastries, desserts and creams - all these delicacies to this day include E330. Plus, the vast majority of carbonated drinks today contain E330. After the properties of the antioxidant were discovered in citric acid, it became a constant component in the production of cosmetics. The anti-aging effect of E330 is widely used in creams and masks, shampoos and sprays. The antibacterial properties of citric acid are appreciated by manufacturers of deodorants and lotions after shaving, which currently provide very long skin protection against germs and have disinfectant qualities.
“Lemon” has the ability to dissolve calcium. For this reason, it is part of all kinds of cleaning products and detergents that we all use in everyday life. With their help, you can easily remove scale and white deposits from various surfaces without any special mechanical effort. The same E330 property is widely used in the petrochemical and gas industry.
Why is citric acid so dangerous?
It is proved that in small doses the stabilizer E330 has a very positive effect on the human body, as it has anti-aging and anti-bacterial properties. However, high concentrations of E330 in cosmetics can cause chemical burns of the epidermis and airway mucosa. In addition, when in contact with tooth enamel by neutralizing calcium, citric acid contributes to its destruction. Foods that contain E330 are not recommended for people suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, as citric acid can only aggravate the problem. Moreover, a high concentration of this substance in drinks or food can lead to burns to the esophagus.