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Lactic Acid is a versatile material found in a variety of innovative products that was first discovered by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1780 and produced commercially by Charles E. Avery in 1881. 

It’s Applications in Industry?

Lactic Acid is a naturally occurring organic acid utilised in various industries, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, and, most recently, medical industries.

In the food industry, which accounts for a large portion of the demand (35%), it has several uses:

  • It acts as an acidifier for bread,
  • prevents the development of harmful bacteria in pickles, relishes, salad dressings,
  • adds a mild-tasting sourness to beverages and candy,
  • In dairy products, it is used to prevent fermentation and,
  • It is an essential ingredient in fermented foods, like yoghurt, butter, and canned vegetables.

However, it is also used as an antimicrobial in cleaning products, has applications in the leather tanning industry, in descaling processes, in the textile industry as a mordant (fixative) for dyeing, and can be converted to ethanol, propylene glycol, and acrylic polymers in the chemical industry.

Graph showing use of lactic acid across industries

Fig. 1. Uses and demand of lactic acid (The Essential Chemical Industry Online 2013)

Although it’s been commercially available for a long time, it is only in recent decades that new uses have resulted in a tremendous increase in demand.

For example, its an essential building block in producing a range of new and innovative bioplastics, PLA or Polylactic Acid – the new generation of biodegradable polymers.

The use of Lactic Acid in manufacturing environmentally friendly, green solvents is another area for significant potential growth. Using it as a green solvent enriches the diversity and versatility of bio-based green solvents and could offer an effective means for designing environmentally benign synthetic systems.

Its application and innovative usefulness seem ever-growing, and in 2010, it was included in a report issued by the U.S. Department of Energy on chemicals that are considered potential building blocks for the future.

Lactic Acid from Redox

Redox is proud to work with leading manufacturers of Lactic Acid and Lactates globally and can create solutions for all customer requirements.

Redox supplies Lactic Acid in the Australian, New Zealand, Malaysian, and North American markets and is available in various packing sizes. These include 25kg carboys250kg steel drums and 1200kg IBCs.

We offer it in a range of varied strengths, with a powder form also available for specific applications. Our Lactic Acid conforms to the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), ensuring our product’s overall safety and integrity.

Contact one of our experts to discover how Redox can be an essential element of your sourcing strategy.

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