The acid components of Lime

Translation by Susan Strickland* 

This beautiful image is a microscopic photo of colored crystals of citric acid. Citrus  in Latim means lime. Therefore all the citric fruits are etymologically related to lime.

Lime is the most citric of the fruits of its family, and as you will see bellow its citric acid content is by far superior to its relatives: oranges, tangerines and grapefruits.

And as it can be seen in the following image the citric acid molecule is a tricarboxyl organic acid present in most fruits, especially the citric ones. Its chemical formula is C6H8O7.

Notice that the citric acid molecule has a short chain of 3 carbons, compressed by 3 voluminous carboxyl groups (-COOH). Thus, it is about a tricarboxyl acid and such configuration assures it comprehensive power:

1) Complexing, thus promoting the fixation of cations such as calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. This property grants it the role of mineralizing agent and;

2) Buffering, thus being a stabilizing agent of pH for watering mediums, being the main alkalizing agent of organic metabolism for man and animals.

3) Taking part of Krebs Cycle of the CItric Acid when it plays an essential role in cell breathing and generating body energy.

In this way it has an important role in stabilizing the pH of body liquids, in electrochemistry (cell communication) of the brain and the whole body, in maintaining and forming bones, in cell berating and and generating all of energy for human life.

Krebs Cycle, Citric Acid Cycle or The Cycle of Tricarboxyl Acids

It is a metabolic route, a sequence of chemical reactions responsible for:

- the breathing of all aerobic cells;

- energy generation derived from the 'oxidative digestion' of carbohydrates, fats (fatty acid) and proteins (amino acids).

In lime juice it is present in rates that vary between 5 and 7% depending on its variety, growing conditions, season of the year and fruit maturity. The juice usually contains about 1% in its salt form, the potassium citrate.

All citric fruits, as the name states, are rich in such acid; but Lime is the only one that can reach levels up to 7%. It is important to know that oranges, tangerines and grapefruits despite also being citric fruits usually contain between 0,6 to 1%  of citric acid in the composition of its pure and fresh juices.

It is the citric acid in this high concentration the main responsible for the acid taste of Lime juice. But this does not at all mean that it is an acidifying for the human body. The fact is that it does not remain in this acid form after ingestion but quickly transforms itself into alkaline salt. Proof of this phenomenon is found in the analytical follow-up of human urine after the ingestion of different doses of Lime juice resulting, against the odds, in strong alkalinity.

Therefore, Lime juice despite creating acid reaction on the papilla once taken transforms itself into citrate, that are alkalizing salt of watery mediums.  

Besides that it is all about a natural preserving that along with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and essential oils of Lime skin, acts as a safe and natural bactericide against fermentation in the stomach and intestines, besides treating internal and external infections of contagious aspect. Actually its bactericide action is bacteriostatic when destroys microorganisms and inactive them creating an environment that is inadequate to germs.

Vitamin C - ascorbic acid (~40mg/100g in juices and ~150mg/100g in the skin)

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is soluble in water and thermo sensitive, which is reason for its destruction when the food that contains it is cooked.

It is about a powerful antioxidant agent and therefore protective against aging damage and degeneration of all the cells and tissues, benefitting rejuvenation, the immunity system, rules the functions of bone medulla, the metabolism of blood formation and the work of endocrine glans.

The fresh Lime juice is not, among the citric fruits, the richest in vitamin C, but in between its skin and pulp there is high levels of this vitamin. The fact is that the synergy: citric acid + vitamin C + vitamin P assures Lime to be of great importance in the metabolism of amino acids and enhances the fixation of calcium and iron by the intestines, in normal conditions or in deficiencies. This is the reason why Lime (juice, skin and pulp) is fundamental in treating and preventing Anemia and bone problems. Vitamin C is needed in the creation of fiber tissues, teeth, bones, cartilage, skin and even hair.

The human body does not synthesize its own vitamin C making its intake essential through food. Teenagers and adults need to costume a minimum of 100mg a day, pregnant women 125mg a day, mothers breast feeding 150mg a day, children 75 mg a day and smokers and elderly 300mg a day.

Daily consumption of Lime is particularly important by children between the age while they are breast feeding until they are teenagers and by pregnant women and elderly.

This way vitamin C is efficient in treating and preventing Anemia, Scurvy, recovering of tissues, strengthening of immunity system and a great helper in healing Stomatitis, digestive and circulatory problems, headaches and Pyorrhea.

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Read also: The citric acid of lemon (and lime) - a bactericide agent

It is recommended the thorough reading of the books The Healing Power of Lime and Detoxicating Alimentation (in translation to english).

These contain usage indication and recipes. The fact that lime is a natural fruit does not excuse the need of its conscious responsible use.

Reprodução permitida desde que mantida a integridade das informações, citada a autoria e a fonte 


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