Oxalic Acid belonging to the family of carboxylic acids and this chemical also termed as Ethanedioic Acid. Oxalic acid is widely used as an acid rinse in laundries, where it can able to remove rust and ink stains because of its capability of converting insoluble iron compounds into a soluble complex ion.For the same reason, it is the chief ingredient of many commercial preparations used for removing scale from automobile radiators.
It occurs naturally in high levels in many common foods, including several vegetables like Potatoes, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots and other foods like fruits, nuts&seeds, legumes&grains, Chocolate, Beer etc.
In some of these food items, it tastes pleasantly sour, and in others it’s essentially tasteless. Because it binds with some nutrients making them unavailable, for this reason the oxalic acid is often described as an anti-nutrient.
We don’t believe oxalic acid poses a health threat if you’re reasonable about your consumption.
More than 90 per cent of the oxalic acid you consume is normally excreted in your urine. Organic form of oxalic acid, in low concentration, is essential to maintain peristaltic motion in our body. However, when it is processed or cooked, it becomes inorganic form, and may have certain negative effects on the body.
Foods high in both calcium and oxalic acid are less of a concern than those merely high in oxalic acid, since the calcium bonds with the oxalic acid in the stomach. In lower doses, oxalic acid can limiting the absorption of some nutrients, particularly calcium and iron. When oxalic acid combines with calcium and some of these other minerals it creates oxalate crystals, which can contribute to kidney stones, gout etc.
Oxalic acid can also interfere with the absorption of minerals in our diet such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Hence, it is advisable for people with certain health conditions to limit its intake through the diet.
One thing to be kept in mind is that, oxalic acid is harmless if consumed in organic form and moderate amounts. However, too much of it can have several adverse effects on your body.