Malic Acid, DL
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Published: April 2010
In 2009, beverages (both liquids and powders and mainly in fruit flavored beverages) accounted for approximately 53% of the world consumption of DL-malic acid; confections and food account for most of the remainder, at 39%.
In most applications, DL-malic acid provides the following properties:
- Enhances flavors
- Provides sourness/tartness
- Controls growth of microorganisms (preservation)
- Adjusts pH (as an acidulant)
The following pie chart shows world consumption of DL-malic acid:
World growth in demand for DL-malic acid relies heavily on production of beverages, confections and food. Although regional differences in food tastes and preferences exist, the major trends driving demand for DL-malic acid in food, confections and beverages appear to be similar in many regions:
- Food safety (preservation).
- Desire for convenience (increased popularity of processed foods and ready-to-drink beverages).
- New beverage and food introductions, mainly fruit-flavored beverages and foods, including ethnic and exotic fruit flavors and flavor blends.
- Concern over health and nutrition as well as health consciousness. Growing concern regarding obesity and the connection between dietary habits and major diseases such as diabetes and heart disease has caused consumers to reexamine their diets and lifestyles and seek healthier alternatives.
- Increased use of high-intensity sweeteners (HIS) in beverages and food. DL-Malic acid’s prolonged sourness flavor profile (compared with other acidulants, such as citric acid) helps reduce the aftertastes associated with some HIS, by improving the flavor profile of diet beverages and foods.
Growing consumption of nutritional bars (including cereal, sports and energy bars), and sports, energy and protein drinks (including fortified and enhanced water). As this category continues to grow, particularly in North America, Europe and Asia, producers are introducing numerous flavor varieties of bars and drinks. In this application, DL-malic acid helps provide a pleasant taste, as well as masking any aftertastes caused by the addition of amino acids, vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, plant extracts, HIS or nutraceuticals.