Citirc acid has a variety of uses. It can be used for health reasons, as flavouring for food, cleaning, heart surgeries and masking odors. It can even be used a deterrent for cats as they can't handle the pungent smell of the acid.
The acid is a naturally occurring weak acid. Its weakness makes it extremely beneficial and useful for all manner of applications as it can be easily handled and ingested by both people and animals.
In the food industry, citric acid is used for both flavouring food and for tenderising meat. You will notice that on most (if not all) cans of fizzy drink, it is listed as an ingredient. The naturally sour taste is used to flavour many foods, such as fish and chicken, and is a great accompaniment to traditional English pancakes. Citric acid can also be commonly found in powder form on sour sweets. In excessively sweet foods, citric is a great way of balancing the acidity and flavour.
The chemical has a number of uses in the health care industry. As well as being a great vitamin supplement, it has other far-reaching benefits. It can be used to treat alcoholics and is a great way of preventing negative reactions to necessary alcohol in perfumes, cough syrups and shaving lotions. When in the potassium citrate form, it can also be in open-heart surgery to stop heart contractions and make the surgery easier to perform. when in this compound, citric acid prevents the blood from clotting.
Citric acid is incredibly popular product for use in modern cleaning products. Its ability to break down stains means that many cleaning companies bow use it to shift dirt and heavy stuck on grime.
Did you know that the acid is used in drafting and designing? Ferric ammonium citrate - a compound of said acid - is used as an ingredient in blueprints. Placed under an architectural drawing, the ferric ammonium citrate paper reacts to light and turns to ferrous salt, producing a blue colour. The drawn lines remain white in colour as the original drawing's lines prevent the light from permeating through.
Another use is photography. Used with other chemicals, it can transform light-responsive paper into photographs from the negative film. Part of the processing of photos involves passing photo paper through a succession of tubs of acid that change the picture from a negative into a standard picture. Citric acid is one of these chemicals.