Succinate and Succinic Acid

Succinate is any salt of saccinic acid, an intermediate in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and in glyoxylate cycle. Succinic acid can be used for the synthesis of amino acids and carbohydrates. Succinic acid is a water-soluble, colorless crystal with an acid taste that is used as a chemical intermediate, in medicine, the manufacture of lacquers, and to make perfume esters. It is also used in foods as a sequestrant, buffer, and a neutralizing agent. Disodium succinate is used as food seasoning. Succinic acid is used as food preserving agent for cold drinks and and in beverages prepared from apricot or plum purees.

The largest application usage is as surfactant, an additive as a detergent and foaming agent; as ion chelator for preventing the corrosion in metal industry; as acidulant and pH regulator in food industry; in the production of antibiotics, amino acids and vitamins. The current world-wide use of succinic acid is 20,000 - 30,000 tons a year and this is increasing by 10% a year. Succinic acid is also a platform chemical used as a precursor of many commodity or specialty chemicals. Fermentative production of succinic acid is more cost-effective than fossil-based processes and can help fixing greenhouse CO2 into the product.

A family of biodegradable polymers are synthesized from succinic acid. Polybutylene succinate (PBS) find wide application in supermarket bags, pachaging films, mulch films, and other disposable articles.


  1. Kirk-Othmer Food and Feed Technology
  2. Plastics from Bacteria: Natural Functions and Applications. George Guo-Qiang Chen