- Derived from: molasses
- Pronunciation: (\ˈsō-dē-əm\ \ˈsi-ˌtrāt\)
- Type: Naturally-derived
What Is Sodium Citrate?
Sodium citrate is a salt of citric acid, an organic acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruits, corn, and other foods. It comes in either colorless crystals or white powder[1,2] . Sodium citrate is usually offered commercially as the white, crystalline trisodium citrate dihydrate.
How Is Sodium Citrate Made?
Citric acid may be produced from fruits, through yeast fermentation, or even by solvent extraction. Sodium citrate is then produced by neutralizing citric acid with sodium hydroxide.
The large-scale sodium citrate manufacturing process typically ferments molasses (or other sugar stocks) with Aspergillus niger. The liquid is separated by filtration and the citric acid is separated by precipitation.
What Does Sodium Citrate Do?
Sodium citrate is often used as a pH adjuster and water softener. It is used in dozens of personal care products, such as shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, facial moisturizer, makeup, baby wipes, liquid laundry detergent, and soap. It is also commonly used to control acidity in food and medical products.[6,7,8]
Is Sodium Citrate Safe?
The FDA has determined that sodium citrate is Generally Recognized as Safe, and Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care and cleaning product quality standards.[9,10] The Cosmetics Ingredient Review has also deemed the ingredient safe for use in cosmetic products. Studies routinely show that the ingredient is not a skin irritant or sensitizer.
 Food and Drug Administration
 US Department of Agriculture
 Personal Care Council
 Environmental Working Group
 University of Michigan Health System
 Environmental Protection Agency
 Center for Science in the Public Interest
 Whole Foods Market Body Care
 Whole Foods Market Cleaning Products
 Lahti, A., “Nonimmunologic contract urticaria.” Acta Dermato-Venereologica Suppl. 1980;60(91):1-29.