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E332 Potassium citrates
E332 (i) Monopotassium citrate
E332 (ii) Tripotassium citrate
Potassium 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:
Potassium citrate is used as a buffer, to bind metal ions and as a nutrient source for yeasts in special fermented products. E332 (ii) is also used as an antacid (against stomach acid).
Wide range of products, especially for sodium-free (salt-free) 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.