Malic Acid
Fumaric Acid
Maleic Anhydride
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The pleasant, refreshing experience of biting into a juicy apple or cherry is partly caused by Malic acid. Discover Malic acid's mellow, smooth, persistent sourness which allows it to be blended with multiple food acids, sugars, high intensity sweeteners, flavours, and seasonings to create unique taste experiences in foods, beverages and confections.

Malic acid's synergism with certain food ingredients and flavours makes it a versatile and flexible acid of choice to create new taste sensations and to add new twists to existing products.

To see the percentage of naturally occurring Malic Acid in our fruit bowl click here.


Malic acid is formed in metabolic cycles in the cells of plants and animals, including humans. For instance, in both the KREB and glyoxalate cycles it provides the cells with energy and carbon skeletons for the formation of amino acids. A relatively large amount of Malic acid is produced and broken down in the human body every day.


Malic acid is the principal acid contained in apples and many other fruits and vegetables.

Malic acid has:

  • a clean, mellow, smooth, persistent sourness,
  • flavour enhancement and blending abilities,
  • a high solubility rate,
  • lower hygroscopicity than Citric or Tartaric acids,
  • a lower melting point than other acids for easier incorporation into molten confections,
  • and good chelating properties with metal ions.

It forms:

  • economical acidulant blends with other acids,
  • more soluble calcium salts than Citric acid, and
  • effective buffering mixtures.


Bartek Malic acid aids the formulator, because it:
  • intensifies the impact of many flavours in foods or beverages, often reducing the amount of flavour needed,
  • blends distinct flavours resulting in a well-rounded flavour experience,
  • improves aftertaste by extending the impact of some flavours,
  • increases burst and aromaticity of some flavor notes in certain beverage applications,
  • boosts savory flavours like cheese and hot peppers in snack food coatings, and
  • deepens and broadens the flavour profile of many products, resulting in a richer, more natural flavour experience.



Carbonated Beverages

Adding Malic acid improves economies, especially in artificially sweetened products. Flavours are enhanced, allowing less flavour to be used, and the overall flavour profile is broader and more natural.

Non-carbonated Beverages

Malic acid is a preferred acidulant for still beverages (fruit drinks, nectars, iced-teas, sports drinks, calcium fortified juices), because it enhances fruit flavours, improves pH stability, and masks the aftertaste of some salts.

Powdered Mixes

In iced tea, sports drink or fruit soup dry mixes, Malic acid is preferred due to its rapid dissolution rate and flavour enhancement qualities. Since Malic acid provides more sourness than Citric acid, less acidulant is required and unit weight can be reduced.

Low Calorie Beverages

In beverages containing intense sweeteners, less Malic acid than Citric is required to achieve the desired sourness and flavour at a higher pH. Malic acid's extended sourness masks sweetener aftertaste (see Taste Retention Chart) and its blending and fixative abilities give a balanced taste. In a study with 14-30 year olds, aspartame sweetened low-calorie soft drinks acidified with Malic acid were preferred over those with Citric acid.

To see our Taste Retention Chart please click here.

Ciders and Wines

For "alcoholic" apple ciders, Malic acid is added to maintain a consistent "sharp" taste. In wines, malolactic fermentation improves the flavour profile of the wine.

Acidified "Dairy" Products

  • Whey-based protein beverages acidified with Malic acid have enhanced fruit flavour and less noticeable whey flavour.
  • Fruit flavoured milk drinks made with fruit juice and acidified with Malic acid have improved flavour and palatability.
  • Coagulated soy-milk acidified with Malic acid produces a yoghurt-like product.

Calcium Supplements and Calcium-fortified Beverages

In liquid calcium supplements, Malic acid adds a tart and fruity flavour while controlling the pH. In calcium-fortified beverages, using Malic acid in place of Citric acid prevents turbidity due to precipitated calcium citrate.


Malic acid gives an appealing tartness to hard, soft, tabletted and sugarless candies as well as chewing gum. Blending multiple acids creates unique tasting confections. For example, to prolong the sourness in candy or chewing gum, Citric acid is used for an initial sour boost, Malic acid for a lingering sourness, and Fumaric acid to sustain the tartness even longer. Malic acid's high solubility allows it be blended with cooled confections. Adding acids at the end of the candy making process minimizes sugar inversion.

Hard Candy

Malic acid boosts sourness intensity and enhances fruit flavours. It has a lower melting point than other food acids - this means that it can be incorporated into the molten hard candy without added water - shelf life is increased since the initial moisture level in the hard candy is lower.

Soft Candy

In agar, gelatin or pectin-based candies such as jellies and gummies, Malic acid is used to achieve a natural fruit flavour profile, proper gelling and good product clarity.

Sugarless Confections

Malic acid is preferred over Citric acid in this application because it enhances flavour, especially fruit flavours, and boosts sweetness. Blending the sorbitol solution during the heating process is made easier by adding Malic acid.

Chewing Gum

Organic food acids combined with saccharin improve saliva stimulation in chewing gum. Malic acid is preferred due to its flavour enhancement properties. Using blends of acids with different partition coefficients results in a sequential release of acid - this creates prolonged juiciness and flavour during chewing.


Malic acid enhances fruit flavours and creates a more natural flavour profile in jams, jellies, and fruit preparations. Malic acid stabilizes pH to control pectin gel texture due to its strong buffering capacity at the pHs used for pectin gels. Fruit preparations are acidified with Malic acid so that the fruit flavour stays strong, even when the fruit preparation is used in dairy products, frozen desserts or baked goods.


  • Fruit preparations for frozen desserts show enhanced fruit flavour when Malic acid is included.
  • Malic acid is an economical fruit flavour enhancer in sherbets and water ices.
  • In gelled desserts, Malic acid enhances fruit flavours and helps stabilize pH to control gel texture.


Bakery products with fruit fillings (cookies, snack bars, pies, and cakes) have a stronger and more naturally balanced fruit flavour when the fruit filling includes Malic acid. Pectin gel texture is more consistent due to Malic acid's buffering capacity.


In throat lozenges, cough syrups, and effervescent powdered preparations, Malic acid enhances fruit flavour and can diminish the flavour impact of active components. As Malic acid stimulates saliva flow, it can be used in tooth-cleaning preparations and mouthwashes. Germicidal compounds are used in combination with Malic acid in soaps, mouthwashes, and toothpaste.

Acid-Based Facial Products

Malic acid, an alpha hydroxy fruit acid, can be used in skin care products to rejuvenate and improve skin conditions.

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