What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Citric acid and sodium chloride are chemically different. However, these compounds share several important features. Both are found naturally in all living organisms, and both are preservatives. They are in fruits and vegetables, as well as in processed foods. Just like sodium chloride, citric acid occurs in a white crystalline form, although it can occur as a white power as well.
Citric Acid -- Chemistry
Citric acid is an weak organic acid, just like vinegar. This is not a toxic chemical. The oral LD-50 of citric acid in rats is between 3 and 5 g/kg, depending upon how it is administered. LD-50 refers to the lowest possible dose of a chemical that will kill 50 percent of the animals to which it is administered. Lemon and lime juice provide more citric acid than grapefruit or orange juice 1. Occasionally it will appear on labels under the names sour salt, citric acid hydrate and 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylic acid monohydrate.
- Citric acid is an weak organic acid, just like vinegar.
- The oral LD-50 of citric acid in rats is between 3 and 5 g/kg, depending upon how it is administered.
Citric Acid -- Uses
Food Preservatives: Benzoic Acid
The UK Food Guide points out that since citric acid serves both as a preservative and a taste-enhancer, it is in many foods, including “non-alcoholic drinks, bakery products, beer, cheese and processed cheese spreads, cider, biscuits, cake mixes, frozen fish, ice cream, jams, jellies, frozen croquette potatoes and potato waffles, preserves, sorbets, packet soups, sweets, tinned fruits, sauces and vegetables and wine. 2”
Sodium Chloride Chemistry
Sodium chloride, or ordinary table salt, dissociates into sodium and chloride ions when dissolved in water. Ions are charged particles. The charge on these particles is part of the reason sodium chloride is essential to life. The different concentrations of the positively charged sodium and potassium ions on either side of neuronal membranes makes it possible for one nerve to conduct signals to another.
- Sodium chloride, or ordinary table salt, dissociates into sodium and chloride ions when dissolved in water.
- The charge on these particles is part of the reason sodium chloride is essential to life.
Blood Pressure Regulation
Stevia Vs. Saccharin
Sodium chloride is also essential to the regulation of blood pressure. Sodium levels determine the volume of fluid outside the cells. Consuming too much sodium chloride causes the levels of extracellular fluid to increase, which, in turn, increases the pressure on the walls of blood vessels. The relationship between sodium and blood volume is why doctors urge patients with high blood pressure to use less salt.
- Sodium chloride is also essential to the regulation of blood pressure.
- The relationship between sodium and blood volume is why doctors urge patients with high blood pressure to use less salt.
Food Preservatives: Benzoic Acid
Stevia Vs. Saccharin
What Are the Dangers of Potassium Sorbate?
Foods Containing Calcium Propionate
Types of Citric Acid
Vitamin C & Sodium Benzoate
What Is MSG Made Of?
Essential Electrolytes and Tremors
Ingredients in Robitussin Cough & Congestion
Active Ingredients in Scope Mouthwash
- Journal of Endourology: Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products
- UK Food Guide: E330 Citric acid
- Linus Pauling Institute: Sodium (Chloride)
- Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Chemical Cuisine — Learn about Food Additives." https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/chemical-cuisine.
- Codex Alimentarius, Food Additives Online Database. "Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) Online Database." http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/standards/gsfa/en/.
- Max B, Salgado JM, Rodríguez N, Cortés S, Converti A, Domínguez JM. "Biotechnological Production of Citric Acid." Braz J Microbiol. 2010 Oct;41(4):862-75. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3769771/.
- United States Food and Drug Administration Database of Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Reviews"Citric acid." http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=scogsListing&id=82.
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals Health Information: Health Facts for You. "Kidney Health: Citric Acid and Kidney Stones." http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/nutrition/353.html.
Shelly Morgan has been writing and editing for over 25 years for various medical and scientific publications. Although she began her professional career in pharmacological research, Morgan turned to patent law where she specialized in prosecuting patents for medical devices. She also writes about renal disease and hypertension for several nonprofits aimed at educating and supporting kidney patients.