Phosphoric acid, a common food additive, has been associated with decreased bone mineral density. A colorless, odorless substance, it is used in fertilizers and detergents as well as foods and beverages. Its purpose in the food industry is to give a sharp flavor to food or to serve as a preservative..
The salts of phosphoric acid are used in many dairy products to modify the proteins and alter the pH to produce a higher-quality product. The addition of phosphates derived from phosphoric acid to cheese results in smooth, shelf-stable products. Phosphoric acid or phosphates can also be found in milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese and nondairy coffee creamers.
Salts of phosphoric acid have many uses in the food industry. They can act as buffers, acidulants for baking powders and emulsifying salts in the production of processed cheese.