Phosphoric acid, also known as orthophosphoric acid or phosphoric(V) acid is an inorganic chemical compound. It is best known as a rust remover, but it has other uses as well.
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Properties of Phosphoric acid
Phosphoric acid is mainly associated with fizzy drinks. It is used on a large scale, not only as a food additive, but also in many other industries. Phosphoric acid in the food industry is marked as E338. The additive acts as an acidity regulator and sequestrant.
- Phosphoric acid is an excellent rust remover,
- it is a sequestrant which binds metal ions,
- it is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs water from the environment
- it reduces the itching sensation
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Use of Phosphoric Acid
The Food industry
Phosphoric acid, known as a chemical additive with the symbol E338, is a common food ingredient. It occurs naturally in it, but is also added in the production process.
It can be found in many foods. It is used as an acidity regulator. It gives the products a slightly acidic, sharper and more tart taste, but also affects their quality and durability. Phosphoric acid inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold.
Phosphoric acid is found in: fizzy drinks, sterilized milk and UHT, ice cream, desserts, candied fruit, surimi, meat products, flour, sauces, broths, fruit wines, meads, isotonic drinks, baking powder, chewing gums.
One of the most important applications of phosphoric acid is the production of chemical fertilizers for agriculture. They are produced with the use of calcium phosphate salts, namely calcium hydrogen phosphate – CaHPO4 – and calcium superphosphate – Ca (H2PO4) 2. Other salts important in industrial and laboratory applications are sodium dihydrogen phosphate used as a solution acidity regulator, sodium hydrogen phosphate used to precipitate metal ions from solutions, and sodium phosphate found in soaps and detergents.
Phosphoric acid is used in dentistry and orthodontics as an etching solution to clean the surfaces of the teeth before placing dental fillings on them. It is added to pharmaceutical products as a pH buffer.