Citric acid is a tricarboxylic acid that is propane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid bearing a hydroxy substituent at position 2. It is an important metabolite in the pathway of all aerobic organisms. It has a role as a food acidity regulator, a chelator, an antimicrobial agent and a fundamental metabolite. It is a conjugate acid of a citrate(1-) and a citrate anion.
Citric acid appears as colorless, odorless crystals with an acid taste. Denser than water.