Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Citric acid is a weak organic acid commonly used in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. The parent base of citric acid, citrate, is a component of the Krebs cycle, and occurs naturally during metabolism in all living organisms. It is found naturally in citrus fruit such as lemons and limes and is used as a natural preservative. Monohydrate citric acid has one water molecule as part of it's chemical formula, and exists as a white powder.
Citrate or citric acid is often used to adjust pH, to add sour flavor to foods and beverages, and to form the salt derivative of minerals and metals for pharmaceuticals, as in the case of potassium citrate, a dietary supplement. According to the FDA Select Committee on Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) food substances, citrate salts, including citric acid, are generally regarded as safe when used in normal quantities.