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Friday, July 27, 2012

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Are Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and Citric Acid Made from Corn?

  • Friday, July 27, 2012
  • Wendy Lindsey
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  • I did a bit of research tonight for my husband who swore to me I had been seriously misinformed about ascorbic acid and citric acid having any connection to corn. Unfortunately, my research backed my original source (which stated quite the opposite). That source lacked any explanation, which wasn't very helpful! lol

    Here are explanations for both that I found simple to comprehend:  

    Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)
    Rarely comes from natural sources, but rather synthesized from corn.
    "...about 99% of all C vitamin products on the market today are not natural vitamin C.  Instead, they are synthetically made ascorbic acid - or variations such as calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate or potassium ascorbate. Like many other vitamins sold today, this synthetic product has things missing from it. Despite marketing claims, these laboratory-produced powders like ascorbic acid are NOT natural C vitamin complexes - and far from it.  They are chemically synthesized molecules manufactured in a test tube and are often made from genetically modified corn sugar." -Healthy Vitamins RX

    Citric Acid
    Citric acid can be made from corn... but doesn't have to be. The only way to know if you're product contains citric acid derived from corn is to contact the manufacturer.
    "In 1893, C. Wehmer discovered Penicillium mold could produce citric acid from sugar. However, microbial production of citric acid did not become industrially important until World War I disrupted Italian citrus exports. In 1917, the American food chemist James Currie discovered certain strains of the mold Aspergillus niger could be efficient citric acid producers, and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer began industrial-level production using this technique two years later, followed by Citrique Belge in 1929.

    In this production technique, which is still the major industrial route to citric acid used today, cultures of A. niger are fed on a sucrose or glucose-containing medium to produce citric acid. The source of sugar is corn steep liquor, molasses, hydrolyzed corn starch or other inexpensive sugary solutions.[7] After the mold is filtered out of the resulting solution, citric acid is isolated by precipitating it with lime (calcium hydroxide) to yield calcium citrate salt, from which citric acid is regenerated by treatment with sulfuric acid."  -Wikipedia

    Interesting to say the least. So, when you see allergen information recommending those with an intolerance or allergy to corn avoid ascorbic acid or citric acid... now you know why!

    Not everyone on a corn-free diet mandated by health concerns reacts to citric acid or ascorbic acid, but if you're super sensitive, you just might. Be careful!

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