Citric acid, or citrate, is an organic acid that exists in all fruits, especially citrus fruits used to make fruit juices. Fruit juice varies in citric acid content, depending on the type of fruit and the use of citric acid additives. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration considers citric acid a safe natural acid in the diet. The FDA reports that the consumption of 500 milligrams of citric acid per day has no harmful effects.
Citric acid is the culprit that causes your lips to wrinkle or pucker when it comes to eating a bite of lemon or trying lemon juice without sugar. That bitter taste comes from the citric acid present in the fruit. Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit have the highest concentration of citric acid, when you drink juices made of these fruits you will feel its sour, strong and spicy taste. The citric acid added to commercially prepared juice drinks increases the sharp and spicy flavor and preserves the color of the juice.
Natural citric acid
The highest concentration of citric acid occurs in lemon juice with 1.44 grams per ounce of juice. Lime juice ranks second at 1.38 grams per ounce, according to Dr. Kristina L. Penniston of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. The orange juice or concentrated orange juice contains approximately 0.25 grams of citric acid per ounce. Grapefruit juice contains 0.0068 grams per ounce.
Citric Acid Supplements
The citric acid content of commercially prepared beverages varies, depending on the manufacturer, but may vary from 0.03 grams to 0.22 grams per ounce. Some juices with artificial and sugary flavors that do not actually contain fruit can have more citric acid than citrate naturally obtained in citrus fruits.
The citric acid in the juice has no nutritional value, but is necessary for your metabolism. According to Reginald H. Garrett and Charles M. Grisham, authors of the book "Biochemistry", citric acid is essential in the supply of energy to cells by converting carbohydrates, proteins and fatty acids into water and carbon dioxide. This process is known as the citric acid cycle.
Drink in moderation