What is Fumaric Acid (E297) in Food? Uses, Safety, Side Effects

Fumaric acid (E297) is an organic compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. People use it to treat pain, as a preservative in food, to help prevent cancer, and to treat skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Fumaric acid helps people who have damaged joints or weak bones.

What is fumaric acid?

Fumaric acid is a naturally occurring organic acid that belongs to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family. It is produced by many plants, particularly in the genus food chemical supplier Fumaria. It is also produced synthetically and used as a food additive, pharmaceutical ingredient, cosmetic ingredient, and chemical intermediate.

Fumaric acid was first isolated from fumaric acid esters found in beets and other plants.

It has been used for centuries as a food preservative and flavoring agent; it has also been used as a pharmaceutical ingredient to treat conditions such as psoriasis.

Fumaric acid has been shown to improve skin elasticity and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

What are the natural Sources of fumaric acid?

Fumaric acid is a natural acid found in many fruits and vegetables. It is used as a preservative and flavouring agent, and is also used in the food industry as an custom chemical supplier emulsifier. Fumaric acid can be obtained from the fruit of several species of fumitory shrub.

Fumaric acid is an organic compound that occurs naturally in many foods, such as apples, almonds, tomatoes, potatoes, grapes and carrots. Fumaric acid is also used as a food additive to provide tartness to foods such as potato chips or soft drinks.

How is fumaric acid made?

The isomerization of maleic acid or glucose fermentation can produce fumaric acid. Two manufacturing processes are described below:

1. Isomerization of Maleic Acid

In this process, maleic acid is heated under pressure in the presence of an acid catalyst. This causes a rearrangement of the carbon atoms in maleic acid, resulting in the formation of a new compound called cis-butenedioic acid. The cis-butenedioic acid can then undergo hydrolysis to give fumaric acid.

2. Sugar fermentation

Fermentation is a technique used to produce organic acids from sugars by using microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria. Fumaric acid can be produced by fermenting sugar under aerobic conditions with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria.



Fumaric acid is an unsaturated di-carbonic acid that has 2 dissociation equilibrium equations. A concentration of 100 mM (0.1 mol/L) results in a PH value of 2.03.

How to calculate the pH value of fumaric acid?

Citric, malic, and tartaric acids are all very soluble in water, with a solubility of 0.5% (0.5g/100ml) at 20°C.

As fumaric acid is hydrophobic, it can disrupt microbial activity by interacting with lipid materials on microbial cell walls.

In organic solvents

Alcoholically soluble, slightly soluble in oils. It is slightly soluble in acetone with a solubility of 1.29g/100g at 20°C.

What are the benefits of fumaric acid?

Fumaric acid is a white, crystalline powder that is used as a food additive and as a medicine. It is also used in the production of polyester resins and some other chemicals.

Because fumaric acid is an organic acid, it can be found in many fruits and vegetables as well as some dairy products.

Fumaric acid has been shown to have several therapeutic uses. It can be used to treat gout, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions when applied topically or taken orally as a solution or capsule. It may also help reduce inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Fumaric acid may be useful for treating psoriasis because it inhibits the proliferation of skin cells and reduces hyperproliferation of keratinocytes (skin cells). This helps reduce scaling and flaking of the skin that occurs with this condition. It also seems to reduce itching associated with this condition by suppressing inflammatory cytokines such as IL-17A that are overproduced at sites of inflammation in psoriasis patients.

What is the application of fumaric acid?

The strongest organic food acid is fumaric acid. Due to its hydrophobic characteristics, it is used as both a flavoring agent and an antimicrobial agent. In general, it is used in food, beverage, animal nutrition, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries.


Unlike other acidulants such as citric acid, fumaric acid does not absorb moisture and can be used in dry mix products. Because of this advantage, dry mix products do not harden or cake during storage.

Fumaric acid functions as a PH control agent and enhances the taste of beverages.

There are also food products that contain it and its other functions in addition to this beverage:

It acts as a buffering agent in cosmetics and personal care products, according to the “European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients”.

How safe is fumaric acid to consume?

Fumaric acid is a compound that can be used as a food additive. It is also used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and more. Fumaric acid is one of the principal products of fermentation of sugar by yeasts (fungi) of the genus Aspergillus.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of fumaric acid as an acidulant and flavor enhancer in foods at levels up to 0.6 grams per pound (1.5 grams per kilogram). The European Union has also approved its use in foods.



As well as its calcium, ferrous, magnesium, potassium, and sodium salts, fumaric acid can be used in food without compromising safety.


Besides being an antimicrobial agent, it can also be used as a curing or pickling agent, a flavoring agent or adjuvant, a leavening agent, and a PH control agent.


All animal species are currently allowed to consume fumaric acid as a preservative in their feed. As long as an expected use level of 20 000 mg/kg in complete diets for pigs and poultry is not exceeded, it is considered safe for use.

UK Food Standards Agency

What is fumaric acid derived from?

Fumaric acid is a white crystalline compound with a slight acid taste. It is soluble in water and ethanol, but not in ether. Fumaric acid is produced by the fermentation of glucose by certain fungi, such as Rhizopus oryzae, and by some bacteria, e.g., Pseudomonas putida.

Fumaric acid is an intermediate in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins. It occurs naturally in many foods, including apples, apricots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, grapefruit juice and wine, lentils and peas.

Fumaric acid is used as a preservative in food products such as salad dressings and tomato juice; as a stabilizer for some cosmetics; and to control pH levels in pharmaceuticals or food additives such as chewing gum bases or toothpaste bases (e.g., xylitol).

How polar is fumaric acid?

Fumaric acid is a polar organic compound with the chemical formula HCOOH. The pure acid is colorless and can be made by oxidizing maleic acid. Fumaric acid is used as an additive in foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and cosmetics.

Fumaric acid is produced commercially by the reaction of maleic anhydride with carbon monoxide or propylene using a palladium catalyst.

Is fumaric acid a solid liquid or gas?

Fumaric acid is a carboxylic acid. The equilibrium between the solid and liquid phases depends on temperature, pressure and concentration. At 25°C, fumaric acid exists as a solid at all concentrations above 0.01M (0.1%). At temperatures below 25°C, fumaric acid exists as a solid at all concentrations above 0.1% (10 g/L).

Fumaric acid is produced by many species of fungi. The most notable are the genus Fusarium and its teleomorphic (sexual) stage, Verticillium. Fusarium oxysporum is the most common cause of seedling blight in beans, peas and other legumes. It also infects onions, leeks, chrysanthemums and many other crops.

Where to buy fumaric acid?

Ebay: ebay has been around for over 20 years now and continues to grow with each passing day. The site offers all kinds of products including electronics, clothes, footwear etc., making it easy for you to find whatever it is that you want without having to run around different shops looking for it!

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