What is sodium citrate

Sodium citrate is a salt of citric acid with the chemical formula Na3C6H5O7. It is an alkali salt derived from citric acid, a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes. Sodium citrate is commonly used in various food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications due to its role as a buffering agent, emulsifier, and preservative, among other properties.

What is sodium citrate

Some common uses of sodium citrate include:

  • Food and Beverages: Sodium Citrate is used in the food and beverage industry as a food additive. It acts as a flavor enhancer, pH regulator and preservative. It can be found in a variety of products, including soft drinks, jams, jellies, ice cream, and processed cheeses. In processed cheese, sodium citrate helps to improve texture and prevent the cheese from becoming too greasy.

  • Pharmaceuticals: Sodium citrate is used in pharmaceutical formulations as a buffering agent to control the acidity or pH of a solution. It is also used as a dispersant to improve the solubility of some drugs and as an anticoagulant in blood collection tubes for medical testing.

  • Medical Use: In medicine, sodium citrate is used in oral rehydration solutions to help replace lost electrolytes and fluids in cases of dehydration or diarrhea.

  • Canning and Food Preservation: Sodium citrate can be used in canning and food preservation to control the acidity of canned fruits and vegetables.

  • Cosmetics: It can be found in some cosmetics and personal care products, such as shampoos and lotions, as a pH regulator and emulsifying agent.

  • Detergents and cleaning products: Sodium citrate is used in some detergents and cleaning products as a chelating agent, which helps to remove and prevent mineral deposits from forming on surfaces.

Sodium citrate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by regulatory agencies when used within specified limits in food and pharmaceutical applications. It is considered a relatively safe ingredient with a low risk of adverse effects. However, like any food additive or chemical, it must be used according to recommended guidelines and within acceptable limits to ensure safety.