MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Citric acid. A plastic bottle containing citric acid and a watch glass full of citric acids crystals. Citric acid is a weak organic acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. It is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks. In biochemistry, it is involved in the citric acid cycle, an important stage in the metabolism of almost all living things. The hazard label on the bottle shows that citric acid is an irritant. Hazard labels provide highly visible information about the nature of chemicals, safety procedures to follow when using them and what to do if something goes wrong.
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