Tartaric Acid Types, Sources, Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & FAQs

tartaric acid types sources uses benefits side effects & faqs

Tartaric acid is a white crystalline dicarboxylic acid belongs to AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) family, widely found in plants and vegetables. Salt of tartaric acid is known as cream of tartar. It is used as an antioxidant and to add a sour taste to food products and is considered safe for human consumption.

Chemical Structure and Composition:

Molecular formula


Molar mass


150.086 g/mol

Chemical name

2,3Dihydroxybutanedioic acid

chemical structure and composition

Types of Tartaric Acid:

Tartaric acid exists in three stereoisomeric forms:

  • Levorotatory tartaric acid (L-tartaric acid) is a chiral (non-super imposable mirror images) of tartaric acid which is mainly used in the production of pharmaceutical products.
  • Dextrorotatory tartaric acid (D-tartaric acid) is found in fruits like cranberries and grapes which is widely used as an agent for acidizing process in beverages.
  • Racemic tartaric acid is the optically inactive form of tartaric acid and is a mixture of 50-50 portion of D and L-tartaric acid.
  • Meso tartaric acid is formed in the thermal isomerization of d-tartaric and l-tartaric acid. It is used to make baking powder and cream of tartar.

tartaric acid exists in three stereoisomeric forms

Tartaric Acid Sources:

Tartaric acid,used as an antioxidant as well, is found naturally in many plants and fruits. It can be produced artificially in the laboratory for an industrial purpose that plays a vital part in the manufacturing of several food products.

tartaric acid sources

Natural Sources:

  • Grapes
  • Apricots
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Tamarind
  • Dried raisins
  • Bananas
  • Cranberries
  • Apples

Synthetic sources of tartaric acid are bakery products, gelatin, soft drinks, confectionery products and preserved foods.

tartaric acid sources

Tartaric Acid uses:

Tartaric acid is an organic acid and commonly used in the kitchen as baking powder. It is well known for its sour taste and as an antioxidant. Some important and everyday uses of tartaric acid are listed below:

  • Tartaric acid in food additives: Tartaric acid plays an important role in the preparation of many food additives. It combines with baking soda and acts as a leavening agent in recipes and also gives a sour taste. Cream of tartar is widely used to stabilize the egg white. Frosting of cakes can be done by using tartaric acid.
  • Tartaric acid in pharmaceuticals: In pharmaceuticals, it is used with citrate to improve the taste of medications. Salts of tartaric acid is used in the manufacturing of medicines like Diflucan and Zoloft.
  • Tartaric acid in skin care: Tartaric acid has the properties of a great antioxidant. It is widely used in skin care products for the wellness and treatment of skin related problems. It peels the old skin and helps in generating a new fine layer of skin cells from the internal layers.
  • Tartaric acid in beverages: In the beverage industry, tartaric acid is the main source of the acidizing agent. It is mainly used in the manufacturing and production of soft drinks and mainly wines. It gives a pinch of sourness to enhance the flavors and taste of the products.
  • Tartaric acid in agriculture: Tartaric acid improved the roles and usages of organic compounds in industries like agriculture and poultry. L-tartaric acid is the main form used in poultry industries.
  • Tartaric acid in textiles: It is used for the tanning leather and silvering of mirrors. It is also used for the production of Rochelle salt, which is used as a laxative in many processes.
  • It also used in making photographic and printing films.

Benefits of Tartaric Acid:

Tartaric acid is a natural food ingredient and available easily. Consumption of tartaric acid in moderation in the regular diet improves digestion and intestinal functions. It also prevents gastric problems and helps to strengthen our body immunity system. Some important benefits of tartaric acid are mentioned below:

  • Helps in Boosting immunity: It improves the immunity and promotes overall wellness. Tartaric acid helps in fighting against various kinds of bacteria and viruses and helps in the betterment of the immune system.
  • Antiseptic agent: Tartaric acid is an antiseptic agent. It is very healthy and beneficial for the skin problems and wounds.
  • Fights against glucose tolerance: It improves the levels of insulin and glycemic control inside the body and helps in proper functioning of glucose.
  • Improves intestinal absorption: Tartaric acid promotes better digestion and improves intestinal absorption in our body and increases the rate of absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream.
  • Reduces arthritis pain: Cream of tartar helps in reducing the arthritis pain and provides relief from inflammation.
  • Lowers blood pressure: It can effectively control and balance the high blood pressure by checking the potassium levels in the blood. Cream of tartar is an easy fix to this problem.
  • Reduces and clears acne: Cream made up of tartaric acid i.e. cream of tartar helps in reducing and clearing acne and makes your skin look healthy and attractive.
  • Treats urinary infections: Tartaric cream is alkaline in nature so it manages the pH levels and kills harmful bacteria which reduces the chances of infections and other problems related to the urinary tract.

Side Effects of Tartaric Acid:

Over or under consumption of any food ingredient is harmful to normal body functioning. Some side-effects caused by an overdose of tartaric acid are listed below:


Tartaric acid



  • Vomiting

  • Irritability

  • Diarrhea

  • May increase water loss

  • Thirst

  • Renal failure

  • Gastrointestinal pain

  • Organ damage

FAQs: What people normally want to know about Tartaric Acid?

1. Is there any side effect of tartaric acid on the skin?

No, tartaric acid is a potent antioxidant and improves the quality of the skin. There are no side effects of tartaric acid on the skin but it should be used in moderate amount.

2. Can I take a high amount of wine to increase the levels of tartaric acid inside my body?

No, wine contains a high amount of other toxins which is not good for your health and may cause several other problems.

3. Is cream of tartar is an alternative method to quit smoking?

Yes, it is a natural and beneficial method. Cream of tartar helps in pulling and reducing levels inside your body. It works best when mixed with the orange juice and makes you dislike the taste and essence of cigarettes.
Cream of tartar

4. Can I apply cream of tartar directly over my infectious parts?

No, it must be used by adding some lemon juice into warm water and 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar as a drink few times a day.

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