We are trying to come up with a hummus product which will have a shelf life of at least one month. We will cook the chickpeas first then add all the other ingredients and blend. Product will be packaged in jars. Do you know how much citric acid should I use to extend the shelf life? And should it be in powder or liquid? Thank you!

  • Hello, and welcome to Seasoned Advice. Although I'm not sure, I'm guessing that commercial preparation techniques are off-topic here. Jan 16, 2017 at 13:01
  • @DanielGriscom That's not my understanding, though such questions often linger unanswered. user53743 - refrigerated or not? I suspect your answer will be more of a pH target to achieve (testing and adjusting quantity, perhaps for every batch) rather than a specific quantity of citric acid.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 16, 2017 at 16:07
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    I'd dilute hummus 3 or 4 to 1 with water, to get a stirrable liquid, then titrate with half molar or so citric acid, until my pH meter gave me a reading of about 3.2. Calculate how many grams citric acid you aded to how many grams hummus, and go from there. As far as adding to the beans, I'd be tempted to weigh solid acid straight into the bean mash. Buy a good pH meter. The $10 variety are not shielded from the rotating magnetic field of your stirplate. If none of this makes any sense to you, buy yourself a few "intro to food science" type books and start reading; or rent a food scientist. Jan 17, 2017 at 0:37
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    Not trying to be a jerk, but if you're coming on the internet asking how much citric acid you use to make an extended-shelf-life product, you shouldn't be serving it to people. Salt-level, Ph, Water Activity level, pasteurization times/temperatures, unexpectedly risky ingredients, risks with some packaging methods— all of these things need careful consideration and food chemistry expertise. Citric acid makes up to 8% of the dry weight of a lemon, yet lemons still go bad. Do you know why on a microbiological level? If not, reconsider embarking upon this project without a food chemist's help.
    – ChefAndy
    Sep 7, 2017 at 16:50
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    The National Center for Home Food Preparation link recommends not using home methods for processing pureed foods such as hummus. Only professional food preservation techniques are safe for this. Consult with a food scientist for safety.
    – Bugmo
    Feb 8, 2018 at 3:11

1 Answer 1


My advice if you want long shelf life hummus, would be to make a dehydrated product which comes to life when a little water is stirred in.

I wouldn't add any other preservatives unless your food scientist thought it was necessary.

  • Dehydrated but oily products can still have some risks (eg botulinum). Feb 18, 2018 at 21:57

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