Citric Acid? Where can I buy brick and mortar

arkansas_girlMay 10, 2012

I'm at a loss as to where I can find Citric Acid in a B and M store (without ordering it on line). Like where is it in the grocery store? What about a craft store, do they have it in places like Hobby Lobby and if so, what department? Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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In the health food store it's with the herbs and spices. Also I have found it at the regular grocery store as sour salt. It is a lot cheaper bought in bulk - one area where health food stores are cheaper than B&M stores.

And in an unrelated aside - I just ordered some online to dye protein fibers ($4/lb) - wool and silk.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:20AM
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We always sold it at the health food store and my ex still does so if you have a health food store anywhere around you, check there. I use it when making cheese, so I buy it at a little shop that sells cheese making supplies, but I don't know where to get it in one of the "big box" places. I know it is also usually available at places that sell home brewery and wine making supplies. Bulk Foods used to sell it too, but the ones closest to me went out of business so I don't know if they all did.

Your local pharmacy might have it and if you have a small town grocery or pharmacist, they might be able to get it for you if you can't find it somewhere else.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:25AM
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I've also found it occasionally with canning supplies as a separate ingredient; and it's also found in "Fruit Fresh" in combination with ascorbic acid.

I prefer ordering it on-line because I order 5-10 pounds at a time for a fraction of the price I can get it from the local health food store. They sell a dinky 4-oz. container for over $5 and the same brand sells for $16 for 5-POUNDS on-line. It's even less if you can find a bulk supplier.

I use citric acid in the water I use for soaking and rinsing grains/beans/seeds (1 t. per quart of water) for sprouting, and as an acidic water treatment for food I dehydrate at home. Citric acid helps retard spoilage from bacteria growth. See link below for more information.

Citric acid is used to make Fizzy Bath Bombs - an annual Christmas item we make in large quantities. I also use it when I make Mozzarella cheese using powdered milk.


Here is a link that might be useful: New Home Drying Recommendations

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Look in the canning section for 'Mrs. Wages Citric Acid' if you need only a small amount. However, I buy it in bulk on-line to use in my dishwasher instead of Lemi-Shine.

Depending on what you need it for, you could possibly also just crush up a Vitamin C tablet. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid though, not citric acid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Difference between Citric & Ascorbic Acid

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:19PM
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cilantro, I often open a vitamin C capsule and add it to water to keep fruit from oxidizing. it's a LOT cheaper than Fruit Fresh and works the same, as does lemon juice in water.

The citric acid I use is to make the milk curdle, producing curds, when I'm making cheese, so I can't swap that for the ascorbic acid capsules. Each has their own place in my kitchen. The citric acid I bought from the cheese supply place (named Siciliano's, incidentally) was $1.99 for 8 ounces, so it's pretty cheap, even when not purchased in bulk.

I can also get it from Butcher-Packer in Detroit, they are a supplier that sells sausage making equipment and products. Theirs is $8.50 for a pound and it's supposed to make an unfermented sausage have the same flavor as a fermented one without the time and technique necessary to ferment a sausage. I've never tried fermented and/or air dried sausage or salami yet, so I can't tell you whether it works or not. However, you might also be able to get it at the meat counter or butcher.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:33PM
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Crush chewable vitamin C tablets. Same thing. You can get them anywhere that sells vitamins. Or go to GNC and get vitamin C crystals, even easier.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Nope, Tami, not the same. Vitamin C tablets are ascorbic acid. She's looking for citric acid, something else entirely and used for different things.

If we knew what she wanted it for, maybe we could be more help?


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:59PM
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My first thought when I saw the request is that Arkansas is wanting to make homemade dishwasher detergent. I know that is used there. I can't say that I've ever seen it here, but then not having an automatic dishwasher (besides hubby) I haven't looked too hard.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:02PM
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I managed to find some in the canning stuff at the grocery store FINALLY! I saw it listed in a bread recipe and in other applications such as cleaning but I had no idea where to find it. I had seen that vitamin C was not citric acid and wasn't sure if it could be used in it's place or not?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I forgot to say thanks for all the suggestions. I have a friend that was telling me to use vitamin C crushed up, I wonder why the confusion of Citric Acid and Ascorbic Acid? She was also under the impression they were the same thing and was using Vitamic C in her bread in place of citric acid. I have no idea what citric acid does to the bread and if Vitamic C pills would do the same thing?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:13PM
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AKgirl, I use ascorbic acid in bread, mostly in the form of orange juice in whole wheat, etc.

Citric acid is sometimes used in sourdough to make it more "sour" but I've had poor luck using citric acid in bread, it compromises the gluten structure and the loaves are flat.

Ao your friend is wrong that they are both the same but right in using ascorbic acid in bread.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Adding an acid to yeast breads will have a positive effect on something called glutathione which is found in the wheat germ (whether the germ is an added ingredient, or the germ found in whole wheat flour).

Glutathione (which you can also get from yeast if you proof it in water that is too cool) breaks down the gluten strands and often accounts for those whole wheat "bricks". By using an acid ingredient (ascorbic acid - aka vitamin C or orange juice, vinegar or citric acid are a few popular choices) it will counteract the negative effects and helps to repair the gluten bonds that have already broken as well as helping to sustain the leavening during baking. It promotes yeast growth causing the yeast to work longer and faster and helps produce an acidic atmosphere in which yeast grows best. Ascorbic acid is often added to baker's yeast, but in very small amounts.

You don't need to add an acid ingredient to naturally-leavened breads (aka sourdough made with a real starter) because they are already acid enough.

I generally add 1/8 t. ascorbic acid (or Fruit Fresh) per loaf of bread made with whole wheat flour, or if there is wheat germ added to the recipe. But TOO much acid can be a bad thing.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:11AM
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So I could have just bought some fruit fresh? I can find that easily!

So it looks like two differing opinions from the experts. One says it help and the other says it doesn't! HA! So now I'm really confused. I guess I'll just try it and see how it goes for my recipe.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:13AM
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