Label Decoder: Lactic Acid

by in Label Decoder, September 17, 2009

beer
Lactic acid is in a range of foods, from cheeses to jellies to carbonated beverages, but what does it do and is it safe?

What Is It?
Food manufacturers often use the additive to help balance the acidity in cheese and to add tartness to frozen desserts and carbonated fruit drinks. For centuries, food makers have used it to turn cabbage into sauerkraut and milk into yogurt. You might also encounter it in beer, jellies and salad dressings. Enjoyed Spanish olives recently? You’ve sampled the preservative powers of lactic acid. The additive is beloved for its food safety role, too; bacteria hate acidic environments and lactic acid keeps bad bacteria from spoiling food.

Is It Safe?
Almost all living organisms produce this acid. Experts give it the green light, and there are no reports about it causing the body harm these many years we’ve used it. If you see lactic acid on the ingredient list, feel free to take a bite or have a sip.

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Comments (4)

  1. MemyselfandI says:

    Yay! Finally something safe to eat ! Thanks for the GOOD news for a change!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't see how this is good for you. As a massage therapist, this is a toxin that builds up in our muscles, and massage will help the body "flush" it out of the muscle.

  3. JCh says:

    Anonymous – you are referring to a completely different process in the body. the lactic acid created in your muscles is the result of physical activity, the lactic acid in your food is a completely different pathway and function. Furthermore, recent research strongly suggests that lactic acid is a fuel and not "toxic" or a waste product.

  4. Spot on with this write-up, I really think this site needs much more consideration. I’ll likely be once again to read a lot more, thanks for that info.

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