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Is Malic Acid Vegan? Can Vegans Use Malic Acid?

Is Malic Acid Vegan? Can Vegans Use Malic Acid?

Answer: Yes.

Is Malic Acid Vegan? Can Vegans Use Malic Acid?

Malic acid is a naturally occurring compound present in sour and tart foods. It is more acidic than ascorbic or citric acid. It is a sharp acid that serves as a flavoring agent.

Most times, consumption of malic acid is healthy. It is present in fruits and vegetables like apples, broccoli, carrots, and pears. However, there may be some users who experience irritations or allergies.   

As a naturally occurring substance, malic acid is entirely vegan. Dietary supplements also have various health benefits. For example, a malic acid supplement helps with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and oral hygiene. 

Humans produce malic acid as a result of energy conversion. Malic acid is considered an alpha-hydroxy acid. Skincare products often contain this category of acids. 

What Is Malic Acid Made Of?

Malic acid is present in abundance in natural substances. As a derivative of the Latin word “malum,” which means apple, it is no surprise that malic acid is available in green apples. 

Malic acid was first found in the 1700s by Carl Wilhelm Scheele when it was isolated from apple juice. They are essential in providing in giving fruits their sourness. It acts as a flavor additive. 

We produce malic acid when our bodies convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also one of the results of the citric acid cycle. The acid can also be produced in a lab and has become very commonplace. 

Malic acid consists of maleic anhydride (C2H2(CO)2O). It is made from n-butane. It is colorless and has a pungent odor. It is artificially made on large scales for use on coatings and polymers.

Why Is Malic Acid Vegan? Is There Dairy In It?

For food to deemed vegan, it has to have no animal products or animal-derived ingredients. There is no dairy in malic acid. It is either naturally occurring or produced in a lab from maleic anhydride. It present in fruits like apples and pears. 

The malic acid in the food does not come from an animal source. As a result, it is vegan.

Foods With Malic Acid

There are a variety of foods that contain malic acid, a few listed below. 

  • Fruits like apples, pears, peaches, and blackberries.
  • Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peas, and tomatoes.
  • Candy like Warheads and throat lozenges.
  • Fruity desserts like sherbet, snow cones, and the fruit filling in baked goods.
  • Soy yogurt contains malic acid to imitate the tartness of regular yogurt.
  • Beverages like carbonated sodas, iced tea, and wine.

Malic acid is also occasionally used in toothpaste, mouthwash, skincare items, and medical supplements. When added with citric acid, malic acid is typically used in snacks like Jolly Ranchers, SweeTarts, and salt-and-vinegar chips. 

Using malic acid increases tartness in foods. You may also use it in dairy products, processed fruits, soups, beverages, and processed meats. However, it can also cause irritation if consumed in excess. 

Malic Acid: Uses And Benefits

Athletes consume malic acid and creatinine supplements as it aids in boosting performance. It also helps people who have fibromyalgia, kidney stones, and dry mouth. 

Other uses are below.

Skin Benefits

Malic acid provides anti-aging benefits. It is usually used in skin care products to reduce signs of aging, dead skin cells, and acne. It reduces aging by increasing the production of collagen and reverses sun-induced aging. It also encourages skin hydration. 

The topical application of vitamin C and malic acid proved to be an effective short-term treatment for people with melasma. 

Health Benefits

Malic acid is found naturally in fruits and vegetables and helps in boosting energy and breaking food down. There is some evidence that malic acid helps with certain health issues. However, this claim needs more high-quality trials. 

Kidney Stones

Citrate acid originates from malic acid. Citrate acid has proven benefits that prevent the binding of calcium and other urine substances that result in the formation of kidney stones. 

Citrates also help in regulating the crystal size from increasing and sticking to each other. A study in 2014 proved that the added benefits of consuming malic acid are the increase of urine pH and citrate levels. 

This increase prevents the chances of stone formations. Consuming malic acid supplements can help treat calcium kidney stones. 

Furthermore, a 2016 publication suggested future research with pears as a supplementary option could reduce stone formation due to its high malic acid levels. 


Malic acid is a component that is available in both the body and food sources. Its ability to produce energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions is well-known. 

People who don’t have fibromyalgia can also use malic acid to improve energy production. There has been a correlation between chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. 

The regular consumption of malic acid supplements guaranteeing an optimal level of malic acids in cells. It can further promote energy production and regulation.

Dry Mouth

The use of just one percent malic acid oral spray has been tested as a potential treatment of dry mouth as part of a study in depression and anxiety. 

Gerardo Gomez-Moreno studied the effects of the 1% spray and the placebo. This study found that using the spray as and when required over two weeks showed improved dry mouth symptoms and increased saliva flow rates.

Physical Performance

Malic acid is usually combined with creatinine supplements and used by athletes to improve energy levels and performance. Ingesting malic acid with creatinine can improve the body’s absorption of creatine. 

Studies have proven that malic acid can improve energy production, physical endurance and overcome muscle fatigue. A 2015 study showed the effectiveness of supplements with creatine and malic acid in athletes. 

After six weeks of training with supplements, the study showed increased performance levels and elevated growth hormone levels. Runners also showed a significant increase in distance. 

Possible Side Effects

Since there isn’t enough research, there’s not enough data to solidify the side effects of long-term use of malic acid supplements. However, the common side-effects of regular intake of malic acid are diarrhea, nausea, headaches, and allergic reactions. 

Even though malic acid is mostly safe when used restrictively, some users experience irritation, itching, and redness. Therefore it is a good idea to conduct patch tests on unfamiliar products. 

Malic acid being an alpha-hydroxy acid, can cause increased skin sensitivity to sunlight. So, it is essential to apply sunscreen along with any skincare item that has these acids. 

The cosmetic industry is rampant with animal testing because of the legalities and industry standards. While there have been reviews that malic acid is safe to use, there have been strong reactions against the skin, such as irritation and rashes. 

Remember not to use malic acid as a substitute for standard care. Using unfamiliar produce to treat conditions can have a dangerous significance. Talk to a professional if you are experiencing health issues.

Remember not to use malic acid as a substitute for standard care. Using unfamiliar produce to treat conditions can have a dangerous significance. Talk to a professional if you are experiencing health issues. 

Dosage And Preparation

There is no fixed dose of malic acid, and there have been studies to figure out the dose for treatment in adults. 

The standard dose varies depending on usage of supplements, age, gender, and medical history. To get the right advice, talk to a medical professional.


Based on the information above, malic acid is entirely vegan. It is a naturally occurring compound in fruits such as apricots, berries, grapes, peaches, pears, and plums. You can also find it in citrus fruits. 

There are various benefits to the consumption of malic acid and its supplements. It is present in skin care products and used as an additive in snacks to prevent food discoloration.

If you want to take malic acid supplements, contact your healthcare provider.

Using malic acid as a part of the skincare routine can help with pigmentation, acne, or skin aging. Ensure you conduct a patch test before deciding to use it and stay away from the eye area. You can also use it with other cosmetic ingredients. 

Malic acid is an element found in all living organisms. It essentially gives fruits and vegetables their sour taste. The best source of malic acid are fruits and some vegetables.