They are substances added to foods with the ability to intensify the acidic (sour) taste of food and beverages. They also influence the conservation of food. They act by reducing pH, thereby reducing microbiological growth in food. Among the various acidulants in food processing are used citric acid, phosphoric acid, and others. In the industry, acidulants are used as flavoring agents, which can make food more pleasant to the palate, mask unpleasant tastes and intensify others.  They can be used to control pH, acting as a buffer. They act as a healing agent for meats, with the purpose of enhancing colors.


Produção de Derivados Lácteos

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Main acidulants used in food products

Acetic acid A
cetic acid is formed in acetic fermentation of alcohol. To occur this reaction, it is necessary to use the bacterium Acetobacter aceti with presence of oxygen and temperature from 25°C to 30°C. It is a clear, viscous liquid, with a spicy smell, soluble in water. When cooled, ice-like crystals are formed. That's why it's called glacial acetic acid. It is used for pH reduction, microbial growth control and as flavoring and also in the canning industry.

Adipic aci
d Used as acidulant in food that any change can produce undesirable taste. It is able to act as a buffer by regularizing the pH. This acid is used in the area of fruit soft drinks and in the manufacture of soft cheeses.

Citric acidD
erivated from citrus fruits, citric acid is extracted commercially through fermentation with the presence of Aspergillus niger in medium containing a mixture of sucrose, salts and iron. It has high solubility in water, acts as neutralizing agent of sweet palate and acidifying effect on flavor. It is the most common acid used in the food industry, where it is applied for pH reduction, microbial growth control, flavoring, masking the unpleasant taste of saccharin, chelating action, and curing. Widely used in the manufacture of soft drinks, jellies), flans, puddings and the like

Phosphoric acid and lactic
acid Phosphoric acid has acidulant action in the manufacture of soft drinks that have fruit juices, such as cola-based soft drinks. It has characteristics, such as the intermediate flavor between the pronounced acidity of citric acid and the softness of lactic acid. Lactic acid is widely used in the food industry for curing meat, fermented milk, soft drinks and soft drinks. It is obtained by natural fermentation using Streptococcus lactis.

Use of natural acids

Fruits such as orange, lemon, apple, tomato, among others contain natural acids, the main being citric acid. Citric acid is the most used acid in the food industry, because it has a versatility in application, its reaction with antioxidants, greater ease of obtaining and a relatively low cost.

But for health remains the warning: They can cause side effects such as liver cirrhosis and also cause decalcification of teeth and bones.

References

– http://www.ufrgs.br/alimentus/med/2004-01/seminarios/acidulantes.doc
http://www.anvisa.gov.br

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