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  • Fumaric acid is the chemical compound with the formula HO2CCH=CHCO2H.

  • This colorless crystalline compound is one of two isomeric unsaturated dicarboxylic acids, the other being maleic acid wherein the carboxylic acid groups are cis. It has a fruit-like taste.

  • The salts and esters of fumaric acid are known as fumarates.

  • Fumaric acid is found in fumitory, bolete mushrooms, lichen, and Iceland moss.

  • Human skin naturally produces fumaric acid when exposed to sunlight.


  • Fumaric acid is a naturally occurring organic acid.

  • Many microorganisms produce fumaric acid in small amounts, as it is a key intermediate in the citrate cycle.

  • Fumaric acid is currently produced by isomerization of maleic acid, which is produced from maleic anhydride.

  • Fungi are known for their organic acid-producing capability and have been used in fermentation processes for fumaric acid production.

  • In the field of fumaric acid production by fermentation, there are many aspects determining the productivity of the fermentation process, such as the applied microbial strain and its morphology, the use of a neutralizing agent, and the applied feedstock.


  • Fumaric acid is used as a flavoring, because it is the sourest tasting of the organic acids.

  • Fumaric acid is used to lower the pH. This helps certain anti-microbial agents such as sodium benzoate and calcium propionate work better. Fumaric acid itself kills bacteria also.

  • Fumaric acid breaks the sulfur-to-sulfur bonds in the elastic protein gluten in bread doughs.

  • Fumaric acid is used in combination with sodium bicarbonate to create delayed action leavening agents.

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