I can't have any acid in my diet, so I need a good substitute for it for my dishes. Like lemon, orange, citric acids and vinegar. Thank you

  • 5
    What about carbonic acid, H2CO3? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonic_acid If you breathe, that's very hard to avoid. Question the source of your acid restricted diet for answers. Jun 23, 2015 at 12:22
  • @WayfaringStranger we don't need to speculate about why the OP cannot have acids. There are good reasons for not being able to eat them. For example, people with GERD can tolerate foods with a very narrow range of pH, and I am sure there are other medical conditions, permanent or temporary, where swallowing acids is not a good idea, even though they are present elsewhere in the body.
    – rumtscho
    Aug 2, 2015 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


If you search for a non-acid substitute for souring the food / raising the tartness: There is no substitute. The sensation of a tart dish is caused by lowering the pH at the corresponding taste buds. By definition tasting sourness is detecting an acid.


Another reason you can't replace acids is that they are involved in important chemical reactions. Some flavors are soluble acid but not in just water, and also acid helps deglaze pans because it's a stronger solvent than water alone.

  • Well can i just leave it out then, like a cheese cake recipe that calls for it, would it be absolutely necessary? Jun 23, 2015 at 21:18
  • @JaniceKern what part of the recipe calls for it? In baking, the acids are typically there in order to react with something else. So depending on the recipe the finished product itself won't be acidic. Also, if you're having a digestive problem, then cheesecake might not be the best thing for you to eat. Jun 23, 2015 at 21:23
  • I have a bladder problem so use the rest room way to much if I have to much citric acid. Vinegar isn't so bad. But citric acid is bad in all forms. Cheese cake itself doesn't bother me, so I guess I just make all foods with out it and see what happens. I am done missing out on almost all foods. I know I can use red pepper or orange tomatoes in place of red tomatoes. It was just the fruit side I'm trying to figure out. Jun 23, 2015 at 23:04
  • @JaniceKern again, where exactly are you using citric acid in cheesecake? Jun 23, 2015 at 23:11
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    If you want lemon TASTE but not have much citric acid, you can probably approximate by using lemon zest or a food safe lemon essential oil in combination with a different acid. Also, looking at ways to maximize acidic taste while not ingesting much actual acid might be useful (keeping flavorings on surfaces, not in the bulk of foods...) Jan 8, 2016 at 15:13

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