Fumaric acid is a chemical compound composed of salts and esters. It is part of the citric acid cycle that is used by cells to generate energy from food consumed by a person.
A variety of uses exist for fumaric acid. For example, it is used in medication that is designed to slow the progression of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Medications containing fumaric acid appear to improve the quality of life for MS patients.
Fumaric acid has been used as a food additive since 1946. A non-toxic chemical compound, it most commonly is utilized in different types of beverages as well as in baking powders. It is included in stovetop pudding mixes to act as a coagulant. In some cases, it is used as a substitute for citric acid in certain food products.
Fumaric acid is approved as a food additive in the European Union, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.