Developing ‘all-natural’ approaches to food-grade Malic acid production

Malic acid is a naturally-occurring chemical found in fruits such as blueberries, apples, cherries and grapes. Malic acid gives food a sour or tart taste. Because of this, it is an important food additive used to balance sweetness or salt. Examples of industrial malic acid use in snack foods are sour gummy candies and flavoured potato chips. Bartek Ingredients Inc. is a Canadian company and the largest manufacturer of malic acid in the world. Malic acid is made commercially from petroleum products, a non-renewable resource. Bartek Ingredients Inc. would like to develop methods to use natural, renewable resources and generate malic acid for the food industry. Our project’s goal is to test and develop strategies that might be scaled up for Bartek’s commercial use. First, we examine methods to extract malic acid from food (a renewable resource); particularly, by-products of farming that would otherwise not be used. Second, we develop methods to make malic acid in yeast cultures that are similar to wine making, but where the end product is malic acid. Third, we test methods to purify food-grade malic acid that use less water and energy and contribute to greater industrial sustainability and lower costs.

Faculty Supervisor:

Bryan Koivisto;Russell Viirre;Sarah Sabatinos


Sahana Sritharan;Phillip Junor;Mackenzie Hurst








Ryerson University



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