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Citric acid is found naturally in citrus fruits, especially lemons and limes. It’s what gives them their tart, sour taste. A manufactured form of citric acid is commonly used as an additive in food and nutritional supplements. However, this manufactured form differs from what’s found naturally in citrus fruits.
Citric acid can be added to processed and packaged foods and drinks such as ice cream, sorbets, sodas, wine and canned and jarred foods, as a preservative, an emulsifying agent and as a sour flavoring. Citric acid is added to many canned and jarred foods to help to prevent botulism.