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Kojic acid and its uses

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-23      Origin: Site

Kojic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula HOCH2C5H2O2OH.It is a derivative of 4-pyrone that occurs in nature as a chelating agent produced by various fungi especially Aspergillus oryzae, whose common name in Japan is koji.Kojic acid is a by-product of the fermentation process of germinated rice used to make sake, the Japanese rice wine.It is a mild inhibitor of pigment formation in plant and animal tissues and is used in food and cosmetics to preserve or change the color of substances.Form bright red complexes with iron ions.


C-labelling studies revealed at least two pathways for kojic acid production. In the usual pathway, dehydratase converts glucose to kojic acid.Pentose sugars are also viable precursors, in which case dihydroxyacetone was used as an intermediate.

Applications Kojic acid

Kojic acid is used in cut fruit to prevent oxidative browning, in seafood to preserve pinks and reds, and in cosmetics to brighten skin. As an example of the latter, it is used in the treatment of skin conditions such as melasma.Kojic acid also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.Co-crystals of kojic acid and quercetin were found to be twice as cytotoxic against human cervical cancer cells (HeLa) and human colon cancer cells (Caco-2) as quercetin itself.

Other effects

Kojic acid has been shown to protect Chinese hamster ovary cells from damage caused by ionizing radiation.When exposed to a lethal dose of 3 Gy of gamma radiation,kojic acid-pretreated dogs had a 51-day survival rate of 66.7%, while controls died within 16 days.

Chemical reaction

Deprotonation of the ring -OH group converts kojic acid to kojic acid.Kojate chelates with iron(III), forming the red complex Fe(HOCH2C5OH2O2)3.This response may underlie the biological function of kojic acid, which is to dissolve ferric iron.As a multifunctional molecule, kojic acid has a variety of organic chemical properties.Hydroxymethyl groups give chloromethyl derivatives after treatment with thionyl chloride.

Kojic Acid: What You Need to Know

Kojic acid is a chemical produced by different types of fungi.It is also a by-product of fermented soy sauce and rice wine.Kojic acid is sometimes used in the food industry as a natural preservative.However, one of the main uses of kojic acid is in some health and cosmetic products.


Kojic acid is sometimes used in health and beauty products to brighten the complexion.It is used to treat skin conditions such as sunburns, blemishes, and age spots.The science behind kojic acid's role as a whitening agent involves its effect on melanin production.Melanin is a naturally occurring pigment in the body that gives eyes, hair and skin their color.An amino acid called tyrosine is needed to support melanin production.Kojic acid works by blocking the formation of tyrosine, which prevents the production of melanin.Reduced melanin production may have a lightening effect on the skin.Kojic acid is most commonly used in cosmetics such as creams, lotions and serums.It is also used in some soaps.Many products containing kojic acid are used on the hands or face.


Benefits of using products containing kojic acid may include:

Anti-aging effects: Products containing kojic acid can brighten the complexion, thereby improving the appearance of age spots and sun damage.The reduction of dark spots can act as an anti-aging effect.

Treats melasma: Kojic acid may also help reduce melasma, the darkening of the skin due to pregnancy.Reduces the appearance of scars: Kojic acid can also reduce the discoloration of scars.While the acid won't increase the thickness of scar tissue, it can reduce the dark hyperpigmentation associated with some types of scars.Lightening a scar may make it less noticeable.

Antifungal effects: Kojic acid is also known to have some antifungal effects.It may help prevent and treat certain fungal infections, such as athlete's foot and yeast infections.

Antibacterial effect: Kojic acid also provides antibacterial effects.It may help reduce the chance of developing a common type of bacterial skin infection.