Identifying Acids and Bases

Food stuff that we consume can broadly be classified as acids or bases.

Some can be distinguished as acidic or basic, simply on the basis of taste.

Acids have a characteristic sour taste.

Sour substances such as lemons, curd, oranges all contain acids.

The term 'acid' is derived from a Latin word 'acere', which means sour.

The table is a list of common acids and where they are found.

Bases have a characteristic bitter taste.

Bitter substances such as cucumber contain bases.

Also, a cut slice of cucumber feels slippery.

Bases are, therefore, bitter in taste and slippery when touched.

The table contains some more bases and where they are found.

Acids and bases present in food items are safe. They can be easily tasted or touched.

But acids such as hydrochloric acid, and bases like sodium hydroxide can be dangerous.

If touched they may cause burns in your skin.

It is, therefore, important that we use a more scientific way to identify acids and bases.


Acids are sour tasting chemicals, commonly found in lemons, tomatoes and curd

Bases are bitter, slippery chemicals found in toothpaste and soap

The End