Citric acid is a weak organic acid that is commonly used as a natural preservative, flavor enhancer, and pH adjuster in food products, including protein powders. It is used in small amounts and is generally recognized as safe by regulatory agencies, including the FDA. Citric acid is also naturally found in citrus fruits and is responsible for their sour taste.
Citric acid is used in protein powders to enhance their flavor, particularly when the protein source is not naturally flavorful. It also helps to stabilize the pH of the powder, preventing unwanted chemical reactions and bacterial growth. Citric acid may also help to improve the solubility of the protein powder, making it easier to mix with water or other liquids.
Citric acid is considered safe when consumed in moderation.