Adipic Acid

Have you ever wondered about some of the ingredients listed on the foods you buy?
If so, this post is part of a series that will try to give simple, brief explanations about some of these food additives.

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Used to adjust the pH (acidity) of foods.  It may also be used as a starch modifying agent, allowing it to withstand heat and freezing.


Adipic acid occurs naturally in living cells (beets and sugar cane), but is commercially prepared from the oxidation of cyclohexanol by concentrated nitric acid.  The result is an odorless white crystalline powder with a slightly acidic taste.     It is mostly used in the production of nylon.

As a food ingredient it is used as a flavorant and gelling aid.  It is used in some calcium carbonate antacids to make them tart.

Because it is non-hygroscopic (does not absorb water) it helps extend the shelf life of powdered products.

Common Foods Containing Adipic Acid:

Adipic acid is used as an ingredient in a wide range of products, including baked items, jams, jellies, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Health Issues / Side Effects:

Adipic acid has been compared to other food additive acids citric acid and tartaric acid.  It has been found to be similar to these acids as a safe food additive.1

E Number:

The E number of Adipic Acid is 355.


1. Food Additives, Safety of Adipic Acid as Compared with Citric and Tartaric Acid
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