Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Citric acid, Citrates

The GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Database allows access to opinions and conclusions from 115 SCOGS reports published between 1972-1980 on the safety of over 370 Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food substances. The GRAS ingredient reviews were conducted by the Select Committee in response to a 1969 White House directive by President Richard M. Nixon.

Ammonium citrate, calcium citrate, citric acid, isopropyl citrate, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, triethyl citrate

SCOGS Report Number: 84
NTIS Accession Number: PB280954*
Year of Report: 1977
GRAS SubstanceID Code21 CFR Section
Ammonium citrate7632-50-0184.1140
Calcium citrate813-94-5184.1195
Citric acid77-92-9184.1033
Isopropyl citrate39413-05-3184.1386
Potassium citrate6100-05-6184.1625
Sodium citrate68-04-2184.1751
Stearyl citrate1337-33-3184.1851
Triethyl citrate77-93-0184.1911

SCOGS Opinion:

The citrate ion is widely distributed in plants and animals and is a naturally occurring component of the diet. It is a common metabolite in oxidative metabolism and an important component of bone. Exogenous citrate administered to infants and adults as a component of commonly consumed diets is considered completely metabolizable. The addition of citric acid to foods is considered equivalent to adding citrate salts except in foods of very high acidity. The amount of citrate added to foods by foods processors is about 500 mg per person per day. This amount occurs naturally in 2 ounces of orange juice and does not constitute a significant addition to the total body load. Although data on acute and chronic effects of orally administered sodium citrate, calcium citrate and potassium citrate are limited, no biological effects of the citrate-containing substances evaluated in this report cause concern about the safety of these GRAS substances used in reasonable amounts and in accordance with prescribed tolerances and limitations.

In light of the foregoing, the Select Committee concludes that:

There is no evidence in the available information on citric acid, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, calcium citrate, ammonium citrate, isopropyl citrate, stearyl citrate, and triethyl citrate that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future.

*Complete reports containing details of the safety studies that formed the basis of the opinions and conclusions and are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161 (703) 605-6000.

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