Phosphoric acid is present in breakfast cereal bars, nondairy creamers, enhanced chicken and meat products, cola beverages, bottled or canned iced tea beverages, and bottled or canned coffee beverages. Phosphoric acid is also found in some types of dairy products, including processed cheeses, fermented dairy products and milk products.
Phosphoric acid is a clear, colorless, syrupy or solid liquid that is most commonly used in pharmaceutical drugs, detergents and food additives. Ingestion of phosphoric acid can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. The CCOHC also states that inhaling phosphoric acid can irritate the throat and nose.
Because new, phosphoric acid-containing products are introduced to consumers every day, people who wish to abstain from eating or drinking phosphoric acid must educate themselves on the other ingredient names that product manufacturers use in place of phosphoric acid on food labels. These include pyrophosphate, sodium polyphosphate, polyphosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, hexametaphosphate, tricalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, trisodium phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, sodium phosphate, aluminum phosphate and tetrasodium phosphate.
Since phosphorous acid is generally included in prepared, chilled beverages, individuals can replace these products with other unsweetened powder drinks that do not contain the potentially harmful additive.