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Citric Acid is found in small amounts in grapes and in larger amounts in many other fruits. It has a sour, acidic flavour and is odourless. It does not contain any anti-caking agents or fillers. Citric acid is often used as a preservative in foods and beauty products.
At home, citric acid can be used to make vegan cheeses, jams, vegan jerky or other preserved foods, confectionery and desserts. It is also a great addition to your natural cleaning cupboard.
Citric acid is a versatile pantry ingredient. It can be added to recipes to add a sour, acidic taste. It’s a great substitute for lemon juice or vinegar if you want sourness without these specific flavours and aromas or if you want to avoid extra liquid in a recipe. Popular in many Asian dishes to balance sweet and salty flavours.
Dissolve ½ a teaspoon of this powder in 2 tablespoons of water as a substitute for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in vegan cheese and yoghurt recipes.
As a preservative, citric acid can be added to jam and bottled fruits or vegetables. Citric acid can be used in homemade ice cream as an emulsifier to prevent it from separating, or in caramels and fudge to stop the sugar from crystallising.
Citric acid powder is also very useful as a natural cleaning product. A solution can be made with ½ – 2 teaspoons of this powder in 1 cup of water to clean windows, kitchen sinks and surfaces, shower screens and bathroom suites (do a test spot if you want to check the surface won’t be adversely affected). Spray on to surfaces and leave for 5 minutes before wiping off. Leave on longer for particularly dirty surfaces, up to an hour for really tough stains. Glass can be wiped off after 2-3 minutes. Powder can also be sprinkled directly onto toilets, baths or shower base.
To clean or descale your coffee machine dissolve 10 grams of citric acid powder in one litre of water. Pour into water reservoir. Run about 1/3 of the water through the heads, then let sit for about 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure for the steamer. Finally, run the remaining water through. It is essential to flush the heads and steamer by filling the reservoir several times with clean water and running through.
Together with Bicarbonate of Soda, Citric Acid forms the basis for all the fizzy bath products and is also used to balance the pH in shampoo formulations or to adjust alkalinity in some personal care products, perfect for DIY Bath product projects!