# Why is citric acid added to soft drinks?

Mar 4, 2017

The citric acid reacts with the baking soda to make the soft drink "bubbly", and it also contributes to the taste of the soft drink.

#### Explanation:

Citric acid is an acid found in citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges.

The sugar provides a sweet taste, and the citric acid provides a sharp, tangy taste to a soft drink.

The baking soda contains carbon dioxide in a combined form, and the citric acid reacts with the baking soda to free the carbon dioxide as a gas.

The carbon dioxide forms the bubbles in the drink.

$3 \underbrace{\text{NaHCO"_3)_color(red)("baking soda") + underbrace("H"_3"C"_6"H"_5"O"_7)_color(red)("citric acid") → underbrace("Na"_3"C"_6"H"_5"O"_7)_color(red)("sodium citrate") + 3underbrace("H"_2"O")_color(red)("water") + underbrace("3CO"_2)_color(red)("carbon dioxide}}$

You might also notice a slightly salty taste caused by formation of the sodium citrate.