Phosphoric acid has a wide range of uses from industrial manufacturing to food and beverage production. It is used in fertilizers, detergents, cleaners, and polishing agents because of its acidic nature; it can also be used as a rust remover and pickling agent. In addition, phosphoric acid is commonly added to water systems as an anti-scaling agent since it prevents mineral build up in pipes. Other uses include metal plating, tanning, fireproofing fabrics and wood, and production of glass and ceramics.
As a food additive, phosphoric acid helps to maintain the pH levels of food and beverages in order to extend shelf life. Commonly found in soft drinks and sodas, it provides a tart flavor. In addition, phosphoric acid is used as an ingredient in baking powder and baking soda, as well as leavening agents for baked goods like cookies and cakes. It can also be used for preserving perishable food items like canned mushrooms or potatoes. Additionally, phosphoric acid serves as an antioxidant agent that helps to maintain the color of fruits and vegetables.