Citric acid is a powerful acid with high economic potential. Owing to its numerous applications, citric acid is widely popular globally.
Citric acid is available in two forms, liquid, and powder. Both liquid citric acid and powdered citric acid are produced by microbial fermentation using Aspergillus Niger. Keeping in mind the demand and market trends, many new-age techniques and solutions are adapted to produce the acid. These techniques are said to improve both the production yields and efficiency of product recovery.
In this article, we will know about citric acid production through readily available inexpensive agro-industrial waste products. These production processes highly support an enormous production scale and high production yields. The article also reviews the biochemistry of citric acid formation and how raw material and microorganisms are chosen for citric acid production.
Citric Acid Formation
Citric acid is an organic acid that can be derived from synthetic sources like chemical reactions and microbial fermentation. Talking about powdered or liquid citric acid, in particular, it is derived from synthetic sources. Over the years, various microorganisms, ranging from fungi to yeast, have been studied to determine easy and quick ways for citric acid formation. The process of microbial fermentation requires careful control and special operating conditions. The major factors which affect the fermentation process are pH of fermentation medium, concentration and type of carbon source, aeration, phosphate and nitrogen limitations, concentrations of trace elements, and morphology of citric acid producing microorganisms.
Aspergillus Niger is the major fungus required for the commercial synthesis of citric acid as it has a better production yield. It can be easily handled, has better capacity to dormant various cheap raw materials, and delivers high yields. Citric acid can also be produced through chemical reactions, but the method still lacks competitive economic quality over fermentation.
Tips To Choose Raw Materials For Citric Acid
Microbial production of citric acid involves microorganisms and substrates.
As mentioned above, Aspergillus Niger is used to produce significant amounts of citric acids. The species of Aspergillus include aspergillus wentii, aspergillus foetidus, aspergillus aculeatus, aspergillus awamori, aspergillus fonsecaea, aspergillus phoenicis and aspergillus carbonarius. Apart from this, the acid also needs Trichoderma viride and mucor piriformis for production. Besides fungi and bacteria, a few yeast species are too involved in the process. But the only drawback of having yeast in production is unwanted isocitric acid. An undeniable by-product of isocitric acid is produced due to yeast which is then balanced by low aconitase mutant strains.
Substrates like hydrocarbons, molasses, and other starchy materials are widely used in the fermentation process of microorganisms. These substrates are obtained through various residues and products from the agricultural industry. Then, all those substrates that lack nitrogen and phosphate are added with chemicals fulfilling the requirement to ease out the whole process of fermentation.
Citric acid is multifunctional and vital in many industries. The high demand for acid lies in the versatile applications to various industries. Regarding liquid citric acid food grade, it is generally added to packaged food and drinks as it might keep the packaged edibles fresh for long periods. The acid may also thicken foods or give them a sour flavor.
Liquid citric acid can be used in many ways, but good-quality citric acid in liquid form is hard to find. So many consumers wonder where to buy liquid citric acid. Well, the best answer to this is online stores. The best quality of citric acid can be bought from online stores. Also, if you buy in bulk, you may get major discounts on your purchase.