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What is Citric Acid?
Classified as a weak organic acid, citric acid is a naturally occurring preservative which can be found in citrus fruits. Produced as a result of the fermentation of sugar, it has a tart to bitter taste and is usually in powder form when sold commercially.
It is used mainly as a preservative and acidulent and it is a common food additive which is incorporated in a wide range of foods such as candies and soda. Other than extending shelf life by adjusting the acidity or Ph of food, it can also help enhance flavors. It works especially well with other fruits, providing a fresh taste.
In modernist cooking, it is often used as an emusifier to keeps fats and liquids from separating. It is also a common component in spherification where it may be used as an acid buffer.
Citric acid is added directly into the liquid which needs to be neutralized or balanced. Once the powder has been added, the solution can then be prepared as usual. Citric acid is also added directly to other dishes which call for it. The amount of citric acid used in recipes may range from .5g to 2g per liter of liquid, depending on cooking conditions.