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What is Encapsulated Citric Acid?


Encapsulated citric acid is used in sour candies to both retain sour intensity as well as deliver an extended release of flavor. Encapsulated citric acid is used to directly acidify sausage meats (added with seasonings) assuring consistent and safe pH levels, consistent flavor, and reducing smoke-house time by 50% or more.Encapsulated citric acid (water soluble coating) is used in powdered teas and tea bags to reduce hygroscopicity of this flavoring acid.

Encapsulated Citric Acid

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PrimeCAP® Offerings

PRIMECAPĀ® Citric 60-1400:Encapsulated Citric Acid coated with non hydrogenated palm oil
Starting Use (pH ~4.9):Dose to desired performance
Ingredients:Citric acid, palm oil
Particle Size:2% Maximum on US #10
PRIMECAPĀ® Citric 72G-145:Encapsulated Citric Acid coated with fully hydrogenated cotton seed oil
Starting Use (pH ~4.9):Dose to desired performance
Ingredients:Citric acid, hydrogenated cotton seed oil
Particle Size:1% Maximum on US #10
PRIMECAPĀ® Citric 72G-135:Encapsulated Citric Acid coated with fully hydrogenated palm oil.
Starting Use (pH ~4.9):Dose to desired performance
Ingredients:Citric acid, hydrogenated palm oil
Particle Size:1% Maximum on US #10


Acids are hygroscopic and pick up moisture over time which sometime leads to caking and clumping. In applications such as K-cups where quick evacuation is a must and negative ingredient interaction is not an option, encapsulated citric acid is the go-to problem preventer.
Candy is supposed to melt in your mouth but when it melts in the package or on your hands you can tell the surface sanded acids have picked up moisture. Encap acids allow producers to achieve longer shelf lives and greater consumer perception by reducing moisture pickup and preventing sweat and tackiness.

Shelf stable meats have traditionally utilized lactic acid starter culture, but this process requires roughly 14 hours of smoking time, by replacing the starter culture with encapsulated citric this time can be reduced to 4 hours. Increased throughput is a large factor but so is food safety. pH drop with starter culture is a fine-tuned art, citric acid on the other hand is simple math: utilize the correct usage rate and blend well.

Yes, IFP offers a variety of encapsulated citric acids suitable for your application and need. Higher or lower coating levels as well as alternate coating materials and process methods can be utilized to customize to match your specific performance needs.

Consult with your regulatory or legal teams for guidance concerning the use of IFP’s ingredients in your finished products. Incidental additives and processing aids are defined in 21 CFR 101.00.

Encapsulated Citric ingredient statement is Citric Acid, plus the appropriate coating material.

  • For confection,  encapsulated citric acid is offered in a range of particle sizes, % coatings, and coating melt points to survive a wide range of processing conditions. The ingredient and it’s intended flavor notes are then released through chewing.
  • In meat,  encapsulated citric acid is designed to be small enough to minimize destruction during the grinding and stuffing process. It’s designed to release then fully disperse during the cooking stage of smoked meats or the aging stage of the dry aged variety.
For more information on IFP's Specialty Ingredients contact us at or call us at 800.997.4437. // To request samples immediately: Order Samples