pile of sour candy strips
The Acid Combos That Give Sour Candy Its Bite
Sour candy is a nostalgic childhood treat, and its sweet and sour combination is often achieved through added acids like citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, and fumaric acid.
Citric acid is a favored addition as it’s more manageable than other acids. Malic acid increases the sour flavor intensity, while tartaric acid adds a bitter and biting effect.
Fumaric acid makes the cutting-edge bitterness last longer because it takes longer to dissolve. Generally, acids with a higher pH level provide a more sour flavor.
Citric acid can be sourced from citrus fruits like lemons or a fermentation process involving black mold. The latter accounts for about 99% of commercially available citric acid.
While naturally occurring citric acid is considered the gold standard, it comprises only a small fraction of the citric acid used in sour candy production.