Lactic acid, is an organic compound belonging to the family
of carboxylic acids, it occurs naturally in the blood (in the
form of its salts, called lactates) when, during exercise, glycogen
is broken down in the muscles. It can be converted back to glycogen
in the liver. Known to be difficult for babies to metabolise.
Also occurs naturally in sour milk as the result of bacterialogical
activity. It is usually obtained commercially by heating and
fermenting carbohydrates such as sucrose, molasses, starch,
As a food additive it increases the antioxidant properties
of other substances and can be used to add a bitter taste. In
brewing it is used to reduce losses of carbohydrates from germinated
barley and for adding to the malt slurry to assist in making
a beer of consistent quality.
It is the commonest acidic constituent of fermented milk products
such as sour milk, cheese, and buttermilk. Aso used in carbonated
drinks, jams, jellies, soft margarine, marmalade, infant milks
and cereals, pickled red cabbage, salad dressings, sweets, tartare
sauce and many tinned products, such as babyfoods, mackerel,
pears, sardines, strawberries and tomatoes.
Vegetarians should be aware that as it is a naturally occurring
animal product, it could conceivably be of animal origin.