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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Citric acid is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. It is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks.
  • Citric acid exists in a variety of fruits and vegetables, but it is most concentrated in lemons and limes, where it can comprise as much as 8% of the dry weight of the fruit.
  • Citric acid was first isolated in 1784 by a chemist, who crystallized it from lemon juice. Industrial-scale citric acid production began in 1860, based on the Italian citrus fruit industry.

Process

  • A New fermentation process for converting the carbohydrates of citrus wastes to citric acid has been developed, although not necessarily novel, approach to disposal of liquid wastes in the citrus industry.
  • Solid-state fermentation (SSF)  process has become an alternative method for citric acid production using agro-industrial residues such as cassava bagasse (CB).

Production

  • Citric acid is the most important organic acid produced in tonnage by fermentation. Global production of citric acid in 2004 was about 1.4 million tonnes estimated by Business Communications Co. (BCC)
  • A. niger has been used in the citric acid production process, other strains of fungi apart from A. niger, various kinds of yeast and some bacteria are known to accumulate citric acid in the medium
  • Citric acid is produced commercially either by submerged fermentation or surface fermentation employing various carbohydrate sources

Applications & Technology

  • A biodiesel fuel byproduct called glycerol and an agricultural commodity called citric acid can be chemically combined to produce biodegradable polymers that could be used in produce packaging and other products
  • Citric acid fermentation by Aspergillus niger process was to quantify the effects of changing spore inoculum level on the resulting mycelial morphology and to investigate the physiology that underlines the phenomena.
  • The crystallization of Calcium sulfate dihydrate produced by the reaction between pure Ca(OH)2 suspension and H2SO4 solution was investigated at different pH values, temperatures and citric acid concentrations.
  • The present investigation deals with a novel technique for high and consistent yield of citric acid in a fed-batch bioreactor of 9-L working volume.

Market

  • Citric acid is also a reactive intermediate in chemical synthesis. There is high demand for this product in food and pharmaceutical Industry
  • Cheap, at about $1 to $1.3 a kilo, citric acid dominates the category of organic acids, with production estimated at 1.4 million tons.
  • The Commission fined five producers of citric acid a total of 135.22 million for participating in what it claims was a secret worldwide cartel.

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