What are formulated acidified foods?

From a regulatory perspective, foods are categorized by their pH which is a measurement of how alkaline or acidic a substance is and can be measured with a pH meter. The pH scale is from 0 (the most acid) to 14 (the most alkaline). pH 7 is considered “neutral”. Most foods have pH values in the acid range from around 2 to 6.5. Foods are categorized as acid, low-acid, or acidified based on the natural acidity of the product.  Foods with a pH at or below 4.6 are considered to be acid foods.  Low-acid foods are foods with a pH above 4.6. Formulated acid foods are normally acid foods but have a small amount of low-acid ingredients added. Their final pH is required to at or below 4.6.  Formulated acid foods should not contain greater than 10% by weight of low-acid ingredients. At these levels, the low acid ingredients do not significantly change the pH of the acid ingredients. 


Some examples of formulated acid foods are dressings, marinades, and BBQ sauces.

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Contact FST Extension

Faith Critzer
Food Safety Extension Specialist
2510 River Dr. 
Knoxville, TN 37996
Email: faithc@utk.edu
Ph: (865)974-7274
Nathan Miller
2510 River Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37996
Email: nathan.miller@tennessee.edu
Ph: (865)974-7287