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Tartaric Acid

Also Known As : Dihydroxybutanedioic acid, E334


Taste Profile

Tartaric acid has a sour taste and gives foods a sharp, tart flavor.

Usage Tips

  1. Tartaric acid is commonly used to impart a sharp flavour in carbonated drinks, effervescent tablets, gelatin desserts, and fruit jellies.
  2. It helps lower the pH of fermenting "must" (freshly crushed grape juice) in order to kill spoilage bacteria and acts as a preservative too after the wine is obtained.
  3. Cream of tartar, a salt of tartaric acid is used in making candies and frostings for cakes. Tartaric acid can also help set gels and preserve foods.
  4. It is always used in baking powder where it reacts with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This reaction produces carbon dioxide gas and lets products “rise” and attain the desired texture like in bread, cakes, and cookies.

Common names and forms

  1. Acidifying Agent E334
  2. Acidity Regulator (334)
  3. Acidity Regulator (E 334)
  4. Acidity Regulator (INS 334)
  5. Acidity Regulator Tartaric Acid (INS 334)
  6. Permitted Acidity Regulator (INS 334)
  7. Permitted Acids (INS 334)
  8. Tartaric Acid (E334)
  9. Tartaric Acid INS 334


Tartaric acid is an acid naturally found in the plant kingdom like in grapes, apricots, apples, bananas, avocados, and tamarind. It is one of the main acids that is found in wine. Tartaric acid was first extracted from potassium tartrate and was known as tartar to the ancient people. It has been used in Mexican, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine since a long time. However, the chemical process for the extraction of tartaric acid was developed in 1769 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. It is a white crystalline acid particularly combined with baking soda to cause rising or leavening in food products like bread and cakes. It is also added to foods to give a sour taste and as an antioxidant (it helps food retain its taste and colour and is preserved longer). Salts of tartaric acid are called tartrates and include Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate), Rochelle salt (potassium sodium tartrate) and Tartar emetic (antimony potassium tartrate).

Selection Guide

When buying Tartaric acid, always buy in well-sealed packaging with the manufacturing and expiry date mentioned. It should be dry and not moist and have a white, crystalline appearance.


Too much consumption of tartaric acid is harmful as it may cause gastric problems like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal inflammation. It may also lead to increased thirst.(1)

- Disclaimer
"Information here is provided for discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or product or ingredient review/rating. The information may not apply to you and before you use or take any action, you should contact the manufacturer, seller, medical, dietary, fitness or other professional. If you utilize any information provided here, you do so at your own risk and you waive any right against Culinary Communications Private Limited, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees or representatives.”