Adipic Acid – Food Ingredient – Uses, Functions, Advantages and Side Effects

Do you ever heard that acids are being used in food products? If not then the title of this post must be surprising for you.

Adipic acids are used in food products (Bakery Products) as an ingredient in food. Well Need not to worry.  I will tell you why adipic acid is being added in Food product and how it benefits you upto some extent and its side effects of Over dosage.

What is Adipic Acid?

Adipic Acid is a mildly toxic, and its appearance is white in colour, crystalline compound. Its basic formula is C6H10O4. This means it has a total of 6 carbons, 10 hydrogens and 4 oxygens.

Adipic acid is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Adipic Acid
Adipic Acid

If you write it as a basic formula, it doesn’t look much like a palindrome, but how about if it was written like this: HOOCHCHHCHHCHHCHCOOH.

Chemical Formula of Adipic Acid : C6H10O4

IUPAC ID: hexanedioic acid

Appearance : Whitish is Colour

Texture : Crystalline

Melting point: 152.1 °C

Molecular Weight: 146.1412 g/mol

History of Adipic Acid:

Let’s maybe start off by taking a look at the structure of adipic acid. Adipic acid is an organic compound that contains six carbon atoms, along with two total carboxylate groups (-COOH), one attached to each terminal end of the carbon chain.

Adipic acid can be referred to as a di-acid since it has two carboxylate groups. It is a white crystalline dicarboxylic acid C6H10O4 formed by oxidation of various fats and also made synthetically for use especially in the manufacture of nylon. Its first known use is done in 1839.

Commercial Production of Adipic Acid:

It is a common experiment conducted in undergraduate organic chemistry lab courses. Adipic acid can be synthesized by taking cyclohexene as the starting material and exposing it to oxidation-type conditions.

Cyclohexene is a six-carbon ring that contains a double bond and is a perfect substrate to make adipic acid because it already contains the six carbons we need for the final product.

Most of the time, hydrogen peroxide is the oxidizing agent used for the reaction because it is inexpensive and easy to handle. Other oxidizing agents such as potassium permanganate can also be used.

Chemists need a way to make adipic acid on a large industrial scale since it’s in high demand as the main precursor for nylon. On a large scale, the primary method of making adipic acid involves taking what’s known as ‘KA oil’ (which stands for ketone-alcohol oil) and oxidizing the mixture with concentrated nitric acid.

The ketone-alcohol oil is a mixture of cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone and both of these starting materials ultimately produce adipic acid as the final product of the reaction.

Use, Functions and Advantages of Adipic Acid as an Ingredient in Food

In foods, small but significant amounts of adipic acid are used as a food ingredient as a flavorant and gelling aid. It is used in some calcium carbonate antacids to make them tart.

Uses & Functions of Adipic Acid

  • Adipic acid is a leavening agent in baked products.
  • It is also used as an agent for flavoring.
  • Its also Control pH and neutralizing of other foods.
  • Adipic acid is used as a gelling aid.
  • Nylon 6,6 is used in carpeting, clothing, cords and mechanical parts.

Application and Uses of Adipic Acid

The majority of the 2.5 billion kg of adipic acid produced annually is used as a monomer for the production of nylon by a polycondensation reaction with hexamethylene diamine forming 6,6-nylon.

Other applications include some Polyurethanes. Esters of Adipic Acid, such as DOA (Di-2-Ethylhexyl Adipate) are used as plasticizers for PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) resins.

The effectiveness of leavening systems made with sodium bicarbonate as a leavening acidulant is less than that of glucono delta-lactone (GDL) or potassium acid tartrate, but better than that of sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP).

When used as the acidulant in chemical leavening systems to neutralize sodium bicarbonate, the amount of adipic acid needed follows the equation: adipic acid (g) = (sodium bicarbonate (g)/115 (neutralization value))100.

For refrigerated dough systems, the working range for sodium bicarbonate is 1.68⇭–2.10 g/100 g. The maximum level recommended for baked goods and baked mixes is 0.05%.

Side Effects and Disadvantages of Adipic Acid used in Food Products

The side effects of Adipic acid may not occur always in everyone, but it is also used in the cure of many disease, High dose of Adipic Acid can Cause following Symptoms in your body:

  • Irritation
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Adipic Acid may also cause side-effects not listed here.

FDA Regulation on the Use of Adipic Acid in Food Products

Adipic acid is regulated GRAS by the FDA in article 21CFR184.1009 in the Code of Federal Regulations.Its usage in baked goods should not exceed 0.05%.3

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