'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

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'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby Kev888 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 16:20

I posted this elsewhere too but just by way of a heads up:

I recently bought some "food grade" hydrochloric acid from 'solvent-shop' on ebay, intending it for water-treatment. When it arrived there was nothing at all on the container that indicated it was food grade so I asked them about this; apparently they consider it suitable for use around food (like cleaning food-making machinery) but tell me it is 'not' suitable for ingestion.

In fact they seemed unaware there even are any grades of hydrochloric acid that could be used in food itself. So my understanding of 'food grade' hydrochloric and theirs is clearly not the same, and it seems unlikely that this product complies with E507 or any other food-additive level of specification. How bad it actually is if ingested I've no idea, but thought it worth a mention. Mine looks set for patio-cleaning duties.
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Re: 'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Jul 26, 2017 17:20

Great post, hope nobody is poisoned by it.
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Re: 'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby mabrungard » Mon Sep 18, 2017 02:48

Indeed, there are many grades of acids and reagents. Acids are particularly susceptible to adulteration since they can easily dissolve metals. Food-grade chemicals and additives have testing and a chain of custody that assures that they don't have hazardous constituents in them. While I don't really recommend using anything other than food-grade materials, laboratory reagent grade chemicals are certified to NOT have appreciable amounts of any foreign matter in them and that could be construed to suggest that they would qualify as a food-grade material.

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Re: 'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby Kev888 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 14:36

I see they are still advertising it as 'food grade' even after some enlightenment. As they tell me it is not suitable for ingestion, I struggle to see this continued use of the term as safe or even completely truthful.

Thankfully, there is a supplier of genuine food grade hydrochloric to E507: APC pure - e.g. 3x1L bottles for £13. Delivery is extra and costly at over eight quid, but then unlike some other unmentionables they don't sneak it through an innocent delivery service hidden in plain packaging..

Sulphuric is harder to find, so yes I went with a high/lab grade for that (again from APC pure in my case). The quantities I would want to use per litre of liquor are tiny, so a product of that high purity will fall well within any ingestion thresholds in practice. Though retailers aren't allowed to sell the concentrated sulphuric to the general public here, so it was relatively dilute.

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Re: 'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby MartinSmith » Wed May 08, 2019 08:30

I think label should be changed from 'food grade' to something easy to understand, it is kind of misguiding.

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Re: 'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby Eric » Wed May 08, 2019 14:45

MartinSmith wrote:I think label should be changed from 'food grade' to something easy to understand, it is kind of misguiding.


Difficult to imagine something more obvious than "Food Grade" to describe a product that can be added to food or used in its preparation. As Kev888 advised, Food Grade hyrochloric acid can be obtained with certification from APC.

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Re: 'Food grade' hydrochloric acid - that isn't

Postby Kev888 » Wed May 08, 2019 15:31

Yes, the product itself made no claims of being food grade on its label, but that wasn't apparent until after delivery. IMO it was simply wrong of the seller to describe it as such in their listing, since it is a fairly clear term with relevant standards and certifications when genuinely applicable (as in Eric's picture).

They continued to call it so too, with no attempt to clarify their meaning (let alone remove the claim). Which IMO was then knowingly ambiguous as well as potentially dangerous - hence this thread. Though happily I see their shop has now vanished from Ebay so no longer a problem there.

APCpure however is still on there and is trustworthy. Their postage is a little high but that is partly due to using a postal service that is fully aware of (and able to safely deal with) the nature of the contents - often they will do a 3-pack on one postage charge which helps.

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