Lactic Acid - Some Overview

Plant Growth Regulator
Lactic acid is used as a plant growth regulator to promote crop growth and increase yield. It can be used in: almonds, apples, citrus, pineapples, plums, walnuts, cherries, grapes, strawberries, sugar cane, tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce, beans, cabbage, cabbage, Cauliflower, cotton, corn, etc. Lactic acid exists widely in nature and can be rapidly generated and degraded in soil.

Table of Lactic Acid

What is lactic acid and the history of lactic acid?

As early as 1780, the Swedish chemist Sheele discovered lactic acid from waste milk; the production of lactic acid by fermentation originated from the natural fermentation of Boutron and Fremy in 1941; the industrial production of lactic acid by pure fermentation was started by Charles E. Avery in 1881. began; and large-scale industrial production of L-lactic acid was formed in the early 1990s. In 1982, the world’s lactic acid production was 24,000 to 28,000 tons, which increased to 30,000 tons in 1989, of which 50% to 60% was produced by fermentation, mainly DL-type lactic acid and calcium lactate. In recent years, in studies to eliminate the “white pollution” of plastic products, countries around the world have discovered that plastic films made of L-lactic acid polymer are 100% biodegradable. In view of the harmful effects of D-lactic acid on the human body, the World Health Organization advocates the use of L-lactic acid and not the use of DL-lactic acid in the fields of food and medicine. Therefore, there has been a breakthrough development in the production of L-lactic acid. The Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, the United States, and Japan have successively expanded and built L-lactic acid plants of considerable scale, especially the United States. It is estimated that the current world lactic acid production reaches 100,000 tons/year, while the production capacity of the United States is about 45,000 tons/year.

A.E.stally Company was originally the only lactic acid production plant in the United States, with an annual output of approximately 7,300 tons. In 1995, the company announced that it would build another lactic acid plant, which would be put into operation in April 1997. ADM claims to have doubled its production of lactic acid based on the existing annual output of 9,000 to 18,200 tons of lactic acid. According to estimates by relevant Japanese experts, the world’s L-lactic acid consumption will reach 3 million tons. Our country has long carried out a large amount of research work on lactic acid production strains and processes. In 1944, Chongqing Zhenyuan Chemical Factory fermented Lactobacillus delbrueckii to produce calcium lactate. At present, there are more than a dozen lactic acid production plants in my country, which use fungal enzyme preparations to replace the traditional saccharification of furfural yeast for industrial production of DL-lactic acid and calcium lactate. However, the scale is small and the production process and equipment are old, so the yield is low and the cost is high. The current production capacity is about 10,000 tons/year.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid and its derivatives

Lactic acid and its derivatives are widely used in food (such as beverages, wine, cans, jams, preserves, etc.), medicine, chemical industry, etc. as sour agents, preservatives, and fortifiers. In the food industry, lactic acid is very popular among users because it has stronger sensory acidity and pure sour taste than citric acid, and does not require filtration when used. If used in conjunction with citric acid, malic acid, etc., it will give the food a richer and softer sour taste. Used in baked goods, it can extend the shelf life and improve the quality. Derivatives of lactic acid (such as calcium lactate, zinc lactate and ferrous lactate) are not only fortifiers of food, beverages and health products, but also drugs for the treatment of certain metal element deficiencies. In addition, sodium lactate is an important raw material for large-scale infusion to treat acidosis. Esters of lactic acid, such as ethyl lactate, are extremely important flavoring agents and are the main aroma components of many famous liquors. Ethyl lactate is indispensable for the flavoring of liquors. Butyl lactate is an excellent solvent used in paint production.

Lactic acid, especially L-lactic acid, due to its right-handedness, is used in the above fields, which greatly improves safety, is harmless to humans and animals, and has a strong bactericidal effect. Its bactericidal ability is that of citric acid and tartaric acid. , several times that of succinic acid. According to literature, adding 3% citric acid, tartaric acid, and succinic acid to 10% sugar solution will cause it to go rancid after 2 to 3 days. However, when the same amount of 3% lactic acid was added, no abnormality appeared after one month. Escherichia coli, cholera bacteria, and typhoid bacteria were added to a solution containing 10% sugar. 0.1% lactic acid was added to the sugar solution. After 3 hours, all these bacteria died. This is something that other organic acids cannot compete with. Therefore, lactic acid can be directly used as a disinfectant in operating rooms, wards, laboratories, workshops and other places. In addition, it is the main raw material for the production of biodegradable plastics that eliminate white pollution. This kind of plastic can be completely degraded into carbon dioxide and water in nature, and will not harm the environment like the polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and other plastics currently used. It has become a commodity in Europe, America and Japan and is developing rapidly. L-lactic acid is also the main raw material for the production of highly efficient, low-toxic, and safe phenoxypropionic acid herbicides, which has been put into production in my country. In addition, special treatises can be found on the application of L-lactic acid in medical materials and special feeds.

What is lactic acid?

Lactic acid, also known as lactic acid, is a substance produced by the body primarily through the breakdown of glucose under anaerobic conditions, such as anaerobic glycolysis. Anaerobic glycolysis refers to the main pathway that provides energy to cells in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH). The tissues that produce the most lactic acid include muscle cells and red blood cells, while brain tissue, skin, and gastrointestinal tract produce less lactic acid. Lactic acid is then released into the bloodstream and metabolized by the liver and kidneys, which can be used for gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis refers to the synthesis of glucose and energy from non carbohydrate substrates such as lactic acid.

The typical lactate level is usually low, below 2 mmol/L, ranging from 0.5 to 1 mmol/L. When the lactate level rises to 2-4 mmol/L, hyperlactatemia occurs. If the level exceeds 4 mmol/L, it is called severe hyperlactatemia. Elevated serum lactate levels may be a risk factor indicating poor prognosis.

Lactic acid

What is the effect of lactic acid?

Lactic acid is an important molecule in cellular respiration, glucose production, inflammation regulation, and molecular signaling. Under anaerobic conditions, glucose (more specifically, pyruvate) is converted into lactic acid to generate energy for cells. Energy can also be generated in the kidneys, where lactate can be oxidized to produce energy and produce CO2, which consumes oxygen but produces ATP. In addition, lactic acid can be used for gluconeogenesis, a process that occurs in the liver and kidneys and can be converted into glucose by consuming oxygen and ATP. Lactic acid also has anti-inflammatory effects and promotes immune tolerance, and plays an important role as a signaling molecule in memory formation and neuroprotection, wound healing, ischemic tissue damage, cancer growth, and cancer metastasis.

Lactic acidosis and prevention and treatment measures

Lactic acidosis is a dyspeptic disease caused by excessive intake of carbohydrate-rich grain feed, which causes abnormal fermentation in the rumen with significant formation of lactic acid, reducing the activity of the microbial community in the stomach. Clinically, it is characterized by mental excitement or depression, loss of appetite and ruminal motility, reduced gastric juice pH and plasma carbon dioxide binding capacity, and dehydration.

Cereal feed is mainly rich in carbohydrates, which are rapidly fermented by Lactobacillus and Streptococcus amylolyticus in the rumen to form a large amount of lactic acid. Lactic acid can reduce rumen peristalsis, causing food stagnation within a few hours, and at the same time destroying the rumen microbial community. Lactic acid can also increase the osmotic pressure of the rumen, causing body fluids to enter the rumen from the extracellular fluid space through the vascular system, leading to dehydration and oliguria, blood concentration, and a decrease in urine pH. When the pH value of rumen fluid drops below 5, a single lactic acid fermentation occurs, causing the lactic acid concentration to rise suddenly and sharply. When the pH value drops abnormally (below 4.0), animals appear depressed, rumen motility stops, appetite disappears, pulse rate increases, and body temperature rises. As the acidity of the rumen fluid increases, microorganisms die and toxic amines (such as histamine and tyramine) appear. This causes highly acidic gastric contents to stagnate in the rumen for a long time, causing inflammation and bleeding in the rumen epithelium, leading to loss of villi.

[Prevention and treatment measures] The principles are to neutralize the acidity of rumen contents, relieve dehydration and strengthen the heart. In addition, symptomatic treatment is provided.

  • To neutralize the acidity, you can use lime water (1 kilogram of quicklime, add 5 kilograms of water, stir well, and use the supernatant) to lavage the stomach until the gastric juice becomes alkaline.
  • To relieve dehydration, 5% glucose saline or compound sodium chloride solution can be supplemented, 8000 to 10000 ml for cattle and 500 to 1000 ml for sheep each time, divided into 2 intravenous injections. Adding cardiotonic agents and sodium bicarbonate to rehydration fluids is more effective. Depending on changes in the condition, symptomatic treatments may be used at any time. If accompanied by laminitis, inject antihistamines.


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