What is Tartaric Acid used for?
Tartaric acid is the most water-soluble of the solid acidulants. It contributes a strong tart taste which enhances fruit flavors, particularly grape and lime.
Tartaric acid is the other major grape acid, along with malic acid. Unlike malic acid, the concentration of tartaric acid does not decline markedly during grape ripening. In addition, tartaric acid is metabolized by few microorganisms.
Along with several of its salts, cream of tartar (potassium hydrogen tartrate) and Rochelle salt (potassium sodium tartrate), it is obtained from by-products of wine fermentation.
The various tartaric acids and the common tartrate salts are all colourless, crystalline solids readily soluble in water. Tartaric acid is widely used as an acidulant in carbonated drinks, effervescent tablets, gelatin desserts, and fruit jellies. It has many industrial applications—e.g., in cleaning and polishing metals, in calico printing, in wool dyeing, and in certain photographic printing and development processes.