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E331 Sodium citrates
E331 (i) Monosodium citrate
E331 (ii) Disodium citrate
E331 (iii) Trisodium citrate
Sodium salts of citric acid, a compound found in every living organism, as it is part of the key metabolic pathways in all body cells. Large concentrations are found in citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries and many other fruits. Commercially prepared by fermentation of molasses with the mould Aspergillus niger .
Function & characteristics:
Citric acid and citrates have many functions – they increase the activity of many antioxidants, and exhibit some antioxidant activity. They are mainly used as acidity regulators as well as aroma compounds. They increase gel strength in marmalades and decrease enzymatic browning in fruits and fruit products.
Wide range of products.
Acceptable Daily Intake:
Citric acid is a normal component of body cells and will be degraded and used by the body without side effects. Pseudo-allergic reactions (intolerance) have been reported, but these are very rare. People with such intolerance should also avoid all soft fruits and berries and products made thereof. It does not cause cancer (see the following question).
Citric acid and citrates can normally be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians. Citric acid does not cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to oranges and other citrus fruits, as it is commercially made from sugar, not fruits.