Tartaric acid is a white crystalline organic acid. The most common use for tartaric acid is in wine-making, where it plays a vital role in maintaining the color, chemical stability and taste of the finished wine product. Tartaric acid is also used as an acidifying agent in candy, jams and jellies to give these products a sour or tart taste. According to "The British Journal of Nutrition," tartaric acid consumption can have some healthy benefits for the digestive tract. Tartaric acid is commonly obtained by processing the crystalline wastes of wine vats, but it can also be found naturally in some fruits.
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Grapes contain the greatest concentration of natural tartaric acid. According to ScientificCommons.org, tartaric acid concentration in grapes increases throughout the ripening process and reaches its peak approximately 50 days after the grapevines flower. The tartaric acid concentration in grapes plays a vital role in wine-making. According to November 2008 issue of "Nutrition Research," consumption of grapes can have such health benefits as lowering your cholesterol and other heart-healthy properties.
Cranberries are also a good source of natural tartaric acid. The tartaric acid content of cranberries is what gives raw cranberries a tart and sour taste. According to November 2013 issue of "Advances in Nutrition," the consumption of cranberries has such health benefits as lowering your risk of urinary tract infections as well as promoting gastrointestinal, oral health and even cardiovascular health.
Tartaric acid is also found naturally in bananas, as noted in a report from the USDA National Organic Program. In addition to tartaric acid, bananas are also very rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B-6, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, according to USDA National Nutrient Database. Consumption of bananas can yield a variety of health benefits due to the presence of these vitamins and minerals. Protection against heart disease and stomach ulcers are among the health benefits you receive from consumption of bananas. The May 2013 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reports that banana consumption is also associated with a reduction in blood pressure.
The fruit of the prickly pear cactus is also a natural source of tartaric acid, according to the University of Texas. Native Americans consumed the flowers and skin of the prickly pear for medicinal purposes such as treating urinary ailments and providing nutrients to the pancreas and liver. The October 2002 German medical journal "Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift," reports that prickly pear also lowers cholesterol, blood sugar levels, triglycerides and uric acid in the body. The prickly pear fruit has a sour, tart taste due to the presence of tartaric acid, which makes it useful in products such as juices, jellies and liqueurs.