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Citric Acid/ Ascorbic Acid
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Hi Folks:

Can anyone tell me what Citric Acid is derived from? After being diagnosed with Celiac disease I discovered that I had a delayed on-set allergy to all citrus fruit. I seem to notice that I'm not well when I eat anything containing Citric Acid and so I wondered if this is derived from citrus fruit.

Also, if you have any info on what Ascorbic Acid is derived from that might be helpful to me too.

I look forward to your input.

Ronda

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Hello -

I have problems with citric acid - but only the kind that is manufactured. The stuff that occurs naturally in citrus fruits is fine for me. The manufactured kind is made by fermenting aspergillus niger (a bacteria like penecillin) with sugar (like molassas) and the end product is citric acid. I seem to be sensitive to aspergillus niger - also other products that use it (fermented soy/tamari sauce, miso, many items with citric acid, and my father has allergic reactions to the statin made with aspergillus niger - I also have had an allergic reaction of hives develop from using betadine which has citric acid as a preservative). If you are reacting in some way to citric acid, it could be that it is a reaction to aspergillus or something else. Other things that I reacted to in the past are Pepsi (uses citric acid, Coke does not - no reaction there) and Fit which is a salad wash, with citric acid in it. Outback uses a salad wash that makes me react - I'm pretty sure it's the citric acid (I can actually taste it in foods). Within 30 mins of consuming I get stomach cramps, gas, and headache which last for up to 8 hours, is usually gone by the next morning.

Here's an entry that describes how citric acid is made:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid

Stephanie

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PS the majority of citric acid is manufactured as I mentioned above as extracting it from citrus fruits is very costly/wasteful. So you might want to look into other aspects of it if you have problems. There aren't many good sources of info on the web - aspergillus has many varieties and as a mold can make people sick. Somehow processing it makes it less of a threat to health. But you can be allergic to it. When my insurance renews (after Jan 1) I will look into an allergy test for it as I'd like to know if that's the problem I have with it.

When my father was taking the statin (I think it was lovastatin) his lips swelled up, he got bloches/hives all ofer his face and chest, and had to go on prednisone for 10 days to recover. I got hives after using betadine. It has been suggested that my hives came from the iodine in betadine but other sources of iodine don't bother me (well, except shellfish and the jury is out as to whether or not shellfish contributes to iodine allergy or if it's something else). Anyway, just a few more thoughts.

STephanie

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Thanks folks! Stephanie, if one has an allergy to citrus fruit, which citric acid is derived from, then could the manufactured citric acid be the same thing as the Citric acid in Citrus fruit? I get so sick from Citrus fruit and then noticed Citric Acid in processed foods sometimes - and also seemed to be getting sick - the same symptoms. So I wonder if the manufactured kind would have the same effect as the citric acid found in citrus fruit??

Where or how do you get checked for allergic reaction to aspergillus niger? (I'm in Canada).

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Hi Rhonda - I don't think the same reaction would occur. I think if you are allergic to citrus then you would be sensitive to derrivatives to citrus but not things that are similar to it, but not made of it. I could be wrong and am not a scientist but that is what I'd hypothesize.

I don't know where you'd get tested for aspergillus niger - I did google it as an allergy test and it does show up in some panels. I think you'd have to ask an allergist if they test for it or if they can. Canada - that throws another complication in the mix. I am planning on calling around to find out if any of the local allergists test for it in my town. But I know health care is a little different in Canada. Sorry I can't be more helpful in this.

It's a weird thing because I think I'm on to something, so many things point to products made with aspergillus niger that cause me or a blood relative of mine problems but I can't acertain what about it really causes the problem or if I'm on the wrong track entirely. But that's how I feel often about most of my personal health care. :huh:

Anyway, hope you can find some more info about this. If you find anything else out, please post it here so we can share our resources.

Stephanie

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Hi Folks:

Can anyone tell me what Citric Acid is derived from? After being diagnosed with Celiac disease I discovered that I had a delayed on-set allergy to all citrus fruit. I seem to notice that I'm not well when I eat anything containing Citric Acid and so I wondered if this is derived from citrus fruit.

Also, if you have any info on what Ascorbic Acid is derived from that might be helpful to me too.

I look forward to your input.

Ronda

Ascorbic Acid is Vitamin C: you have to find a source other than citris fruits.

Citric Acid is found naturally in citrius fruits: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and tangerine.

I have non-celiac gluten intolerance and recently realized that food with citric acid bother my stomach and cause itching and rashes (not hives).

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When I first started researching celiac disease, someone told me that a method for developing citric acid now had gluten in the process. I don't know if it was true or not and I haven't heard or read anything since. anybody else heard this nasty rumor?

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It's sometimes made from corn - maybe that's the culprit.

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The manufactured kind is made by fermenting aspergillus niger (a bacteria like penecillin) with sugar (like molassas) and the end product is citric acid. Stephanie

Oooh interesting. I was diagnosed with a penecillin allergy as an infant, I wonder if aspergillus niger is in the same family as penecillin or if they can be cross reactive? Citric acid is in a lot of stuff when you start to do some investigating. Of course as cornbread says, it is listed on the corn allergy websites as being derived from corn, or involving corn derivatives in it's manufacturing as well. It seems it always comes back to corn....

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I just noticed that I am having a problem with some manufactured citric acid and not others--like my passover mayo with citric acid instead of vinegar doesn't bother me but the citric acid in some of my olives (jars) is now bothering me. There is citric acid in my capers but haven't noticed a problem with those either.

Must be the ones derived from corn.

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I'm reading the best book right now, "The Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollen. He is a "natural history" writer, and here, he investigates the natural history of a fast food meal, an organic meal, and then a hunting/gathering meal. Anyway, the whole first section turns out to be about corn. It is amazingly interesting, and you'd be shocked to know how much corn you are eating if you eat processed foods.

Anyway, citric acid was mentioned many times as being derived from corn.

A good read for anyone interested in food; a must read for anyone interested in/allergic to corn.

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In the US, citric acid is usually derived from corn, or syntheticall derived, not citrus fruits. The latter would be *far* too expensive.

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This is really interesting. I just happened upon this site. I always thought it was just something odd about me. As a kid I was hospitalized when my grandparents gave me Vit C tablets... I developed pnuemonia like reaction... in just a few days...

Now I stay away from lemons and oranges... and other obvious Vit C mega fruits because I get hives... and then bronchiatis... like symptoms. Sometimes when I'm craving a lemon wedge I know I'll pay for it later with cancors...

I don't mind avoiding fruit... but I can't seem to find any multi-vitimin that doesn't have ascorbic acid... I can get away with taking one... and dealing with hives... but beyond that defeats the purpose of a daily vitimin... any one have any ideas?

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