What Is Lactic Acid?

3D-model of Lactic acid (src)

Lactic acid is an organic carboxylic acid.

Lactic acid is found in foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, and kefir.

It has many uses and can be used in cosmetics, plastics, and medicines.

In foods, can lactic acid be used to rescue pH concentration, as flavor enhancement, and to inhibit microbial growth.

Lactic Acid In Foods

Lactic acid is present in many foods both naturally and as a product of fermentation, like sauerkraut and yogurt.

Lactic acid is also a principal metabolic intermediate in most living organisms. (source)

Lactic acid was one of the earliest acids to be used in foods.

Lactic acid functions in pH reduction, flavor enhancement, and microbial inhibition. (source )

Lactic Acid Is Produced By Fermentation

Lactic acid in foods is mainly produced by fermentation of sugars derived from carbohydrate-rich food sources.

Lactic acid is the main by-product of fermentation in the dairy industry.

Lactic acid is a good solvent for soluble proteins and is widely used in foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic industries.

Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB)

Lactic acid is found in foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, and kefir. It has many uses and can be used in cosmetics, plastics, and medicines.

Lactic acid bacteria are essential for the fermentation of milk into yogurt.

When milk is pasteurized, most of the beneficial bacteria are destroyed.

Lactic acid bacteria in milk are responsible for converting lactose to lactic acid, which creates a tangy, acidic, and smooth taste.

Major Fuel Source

Research has shown that lactic acid is the major fuel source for the muscles. (source )

There have been many reports and debates about if lactic acid can be the cause of muscle fatigue, reduced performance, and pain.

Normal muscle cells produce lactate all the time.

During intense exercise, there may not be enough oxygen available to complete the process, so extra lactic acid is made.

This can give a sudden sensation in the muscle but will not last or cause long term damage. (source )

Benefits Of Lactic Acid

The use of lactic acid in medicine is becoming more and more common.

Lactic acid is believed to be beneficial for wound healing and skin regeneration.

Wound healing is a complex process that begins with injury to the skin and underlying tissues.

Wounds heal through a series of sequential and overlapping phases that involve inflammation, tissue repair, tissue remodeling, and tissue regeneration.

Lactic acid may contribute to the formation of collagen, which helps to hold the skin together. It may also help the skin to form scars more smoothly.

Other benefits of lactic acid can you find in Lactic Acid: 6 Research-Backed Benefits .

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Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.