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Mar 28

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What are Acidity regulators?

Acidity regulator
Acidity regulators, or pH control agents, are food additives added to change or maintain pH (acidity or basicity). They can be organic or mineral acids, bases, neutralizing agents, or buffering agents.

Commonly used acidity regulators are citric, acetic and lactic acids.

The pH of a food is the measure of that product’s acidity or alkalinity. The pH-scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH less than 7 is acidic, a pH of 7 is neutral and a pH greater than 7 is alkaline or basic. Our sense of taste can recognize only major differences in the pH within complex food systems. An acid product would taste sour, while an alkaline product would taste bitter. Some examples of acid foods are citrus fruits (e.g. orange, lemon, grapefruit), juices or yoghurt. Examples of alkaline products are egg white and baking soda.
Acidity regulators are used to alter and control the acidity or alkalinity on a specific level important for processing, taste and food safety. Inadequate control of the pH can result in the growth of undesirable bacteria in the product that could be a potential health hazard.

Acidity regulators are indicated by their E number, such as E260 (acetic acid), or simply listed as “food acid”.

Examples of acidity regulators 

Citric acid (E330) enhances the activity of many antioxidants, but is no antioxidant by itself. It is mainly used as an acidity regulator as well as aroma compound. In addition it increases gel consistency in marmalades and decreases enzymatic browning in fruits and fruit products.

Calcium acetate (E263) has several functions. It is used in some foods as a thickening agent (cake mixtures, puddings, pie fillings), but can act as a buffer in controlling the pH of food during processing, as a preservative to prevent microbial growth, and as a calcium supplement in pet products.

Fumaric acid (E297) is added to foods as an acidity regulator and flavouring agent. They are used in bread, fruit drinks, pie fillings, poultry, wine, jams, jelly.

E-Number – E260
Substance-  Acetic acid
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- fish fingers, butter, margarine, processed cheese, curry powder, cooking oil.

E-Number- E263
Substance-  Calcium acetate
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- packet desserts, pie fillings

E-Number- E270
Substance - Lactic acid
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- cheese, milk, meat and poultry, salads, sauces and beverages

E-Number-E296
Substance-  Malic acid
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- tinned fruit, vegetables and pulses, jams, jelly, frozen vegetables

E-Number- E297
Substance-  Fumaric acid
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- bread, fruit drinks, pie fillings, poultry, wine, jams, jelly

E-Number-E330
Substance-  Citric acid
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- fruits and vegetables (lemons and limes), soft drinks

E-Number- E334
Substance - Tartaric acid
Some foodstuffs in which they are used- bakery, candies, jams, juices and wine.

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