Published: June 30, 2024 | 7 mins read

The Hidden Dangers Of Manufactured Citric Acid 


We love comparing citric acid to Ironman’s armor. Because that’s exactly what it does. Citrate, a compound derived from citric acid, shields calcium by sticking to it to prevent stone-forming elements from doing so. This means citrate is a true star in kidney stone treatment and prevention.

Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruits and is a common ingredient in many processed foods, drinks, and medications. Most people believe that the citric acid listed on these ingredient labels comes from natural sources like lemons and limes. However, that’s not really the case. The citric acid added to these products is manufactured citric acid (MCA).

Now, this is where things get really nasty. Did you know that around 99% of the world’s production of manufactured citric acid is carried out using a fungus called Aspergillus niger or black mold?

If that sounds yucky already, let me tell you something nastier – Aspergillus niger can cause allergies. Thus, manufactured citric acid from it might trigger allergic reactions and inflammation. Aside from allergies, black mold can cause a long list of adverse health impacts that we will detail in the following chapters. But first, let’s have some background about this pesky mold.

What is Aspergillus niger? 

Aspergillus niger is a type of black mold commonly found in the environment. It helps break down organic matter and produces citric acid and various enzymes because it’s excellent at fermenting sugars.

In 1917, American food chemist James Currie discovered that using Aspergillus niger to ferment low-cost molasses resulted in high yields of citric acid. This method was very cost-effective and quickly became popular. Pfizer started using it to produce citric acid in 1919, and this technique is still widely used today.

If this doesn’t yet hit you in the head, Pfizer is the evil company behind the COVID-19 vaccines that made billions out of the pandemic. Pfizer is also behind this insane, manufactured citric acid sham that causes many people to get sick secretly.

Here’s an undisclosed fact! Those synthetic citrate supplements revolving around the market today are probably made from black mold, too. That’s why we are developing a natural citrate supplement and tea from REAL and organic citrus fruit to make sure you are not consuming harmful manufactured citric acid from Pfizer ????

Anyway, how does this evil company use black mold to produce citric acid? The next chapter will clarify.

Manufactured Citric Acid Background 

Around 99% of the world’s citric acid (MCA) production relies on microbial processes, primarily using a mutant strain of the black mold Aspergillus niger. This method has been the industry standard since 1919 before the FDA began evaluating food additives.

When the FDA adopted the Food Additives Amendment in 1958, Congress excluded common ingredients used before 1958, including manufactured citric acid, from the hot seat. While the FDA has studied many food additives for safety, some, like MCA, were granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status due to their long history of use without demonstrated harm. Imagine a lazy student who copied his classmate’s essay and received an A+ grade because his professor didn’t read the paper. MCA did not undergo FDA evaluation and was allowed to circulate in the industry.

Today, manufactured citric acid (MCA) is one of the most common additives used in food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and cleaning products. It is estimated that 70% of MCA is used in foods and drinks, where it serves as a flavoring agent that gives an acidic or zesty taste, a preservative, and a pH control agent. In fact, it is the second leading ingredient after water in some popular energy drinks. MCA is also used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics (20%), and cleaning products (10%), in addition to food and drinks. And yet, we cannot find any research evaluating the safety of long-term or repeated exposure to MCA!

Sadly, the global citric acid market grew at a rate of 3.5% from 2009 to 2016 and reached 2.8 million tons in 2022. It is expected to have an annual growth rate of 4.08% until 2035.

Anyway, are you curious to know how black mold produces citric acid? The next chapter will explain how.

How Black Mold Produces Citric Acid 

In industrial fermentation, sugars are the primary carbon sources, typically in solutions with concentrations between 15% and 25%. The microorganisms in these processes have enzymes like amylases and invertases, allowing them to break down complex sugars like polysaccharides and sucrose. Potato starch, sugarcane, and sugarbeet molasses are the common raw materials used.

Broken-down sugars are treated with certain chemicals or materials to remove positively charged ions. Removing these ions disrupts the normal metabolic processes of microorganisms, which can lead to citric acid production. It’s like sculpting sugar to look like citric acid!

Since manufactured citric acid used in most products is a fake, let’s discuss its scary effects on your health in the next chapter.

How Aspergillus Niger Converts Sugar Into Citric Acid

Negative Health Impact of Manufactured Citric Acid 

There are case reports about individuals who experienced symptoms such as joint pain with swelling and stiffness, muscle pain, shortness of breath, abdominal cramping, and fatigue after consuming MCA. These symptoms typically start within 2 to 12 hours after consuming foods, drinks, or vitamins containing manufactured citric acid. The severity varies, but they usually go away within 8 to 72 hours. The curious thing is that none of these individuals experienced the same when consuming natural citric acid in lemons and limes.

It’s important to note that the subjects started experiencing these symptoms in their late 30s. In most instances, people would think that muscle and joint pain, etc., are only related to aging. However, the truth is that they result from consuming unhealthy substances like MCA. These symptoms are abnormal and should not be ignored.

Additionally, MCA contains toxic compounds that can cause cancer in humans and animals. MCA’s most well-known toxic substances are ochratoxin A (OTA) and malformin C. In animal studies, those exposed to OTA experience impaired DNA repair and cell cycle control, potentially leading to cancer.

Most of you probably wonder, “Is there a direct impact on kidney stone risk?” Read the next chapter to get the answer.

Manufactured Citric Acid and Kidney Stone Risk 

Honestly, manufactured citric acid doesn’t directly affect kidney stone risk. However, it affects your kidneys in general. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is toxic to the kidneys and directly harms the immune system. Due to its severe toxicity, OTA is one of the 20 mycotoxins (caused by molds) regularly monitored in food.

When you get a dysfunctional kidney due to MCA, you’ll be more prone to kidney stones than ever.

So, with all this information, what should you do to boost your citric acid intake without consuming MCA? Read the next chapter for some of our tips.

Our Best Choice For Citric Acid 

Citric acid is essential in treating and preventing kidney stones. However, don’t buy synthetic citrate supplements again, as they are probably made from manufactured citric acid. These synthetic supplements are actually doing you more harm than good.

We encourage you to consume natural lemon to get citrate safely. Juicing one to two lemons daily will give you at least 1,200 mg of citrate, good enough to help you with your kidney stone. If you are someone too busy to do that, your best options are natural lemon powders. Make sure to choose ones from organic ingredients, as inorganic sources may be contaminated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

As we mentioned earlier, we are developing our own natural citrate supplement brand. We hope to launch it by the end of the year or early next year. This would be a great option if you are looking for a guaranteed safe citrate supplement.

In the meantime, check out our Coaching Program, which will help you navigate your kidney stone-free diet. This way, you can be sure that no poison ninjas are secretly sneaking into your Prevention Plan.


  1. Potential role of the common food additive manufactured citric acid in eliciting significant inflammatory reactions contributing to serious disease states: A series of four case reports  

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