Sodium citrate is chiefly used as a food additive, usually for flavor or as a preservative. Its E number is E331. Sodium citrate is employed as a flavoring agent in certain varieties of club soda. It is common as an ingredient in bratwurst, and is also used in commercial ready-to-drink beverages and drink mixes, contributing a tart flavor. It is found in gelatin mix, ice cream, yogurt, jams, sweets, milk powder, processed cheeses, carbonated beverages, and wine, amongst others.
Sodium citrate can be used as an emulsifying stabilizer when making cheese. It allows the cheese to melt without becoming greasy by stopping the fats from separating.