Carboxylic acids are a form of an organic acid. All carboxylic contain one Carbon atom, one Oxygen atom, and one hydroxyl group. The combination of the atoms looks like this (COOH). Any grouping of molecules that contain these (COOH groupings) is considered a carboxylic acid. There are many, many types of carboxylic acids, some common examples are: Citric Acid (beverages), Acetic Acid (vinegar), Humic Acid, Fulvic Acid, Salicylic Acid (acne treatments), Malic Acid (sour tasting food ingredient), Lignin Sulfonate (wood pulp by-product), Oxalic Acid (Oxy Clean and other cleaners), Formic Acid (ant bites), some carboxylic acids are mixed with alcohols to produce flower smells and fragrances for perfume and colognes.

Many carboxylic acids are produced industrially on a large scale for use in the production of polymers (plastics), pharmaceuticals, solvents, and food additives. Chances are you have ingested some in the past 48 hours and have touched at least three more within that same time frame, they are all around us.

The carboxylic acids that are important to us here today are the ones used as chelaters (for better nutrient uptake) and oxidizers (to make Calcium available). Specifically, the group called (PHCA) Poly-Hydroxy Carboxylic Acid is a grouping of about 50 or so acids. Saying that your product has PHCA in it is about as useful as asking a doctor for a “pain reliever”. Which type of pain reliever do you need? Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil or Motrin, Aleve, or do you need some really strong, prescription only, narcotic like Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin, or Morphine??? They are all different in strengths but are all still in the grouping “Pain Relievers”… Get what I’m sayin’?

PHCA is an acronym that we came up with that basically means (multiple), many hydroxyl groups are on a molecule. The more hydroxyl groups you have the more stable your reaction is and greater the oxidation power of the molecule. Within that group of 50 or so acids in the PHCA category there are lots that don’t do anything for nutrient chelation or oxidation of Calcium. There are several that are used in large amounts for nutrient chelation in agriculture and Turf. Examples of these would be Humic Acid, Fulvic Acid, and Citric Acids.

thCa (Tri-Hydroxy Carboxylic Acid) Organic Acid found in VERDE-CAL Products is specific to react (oxidize) with Earth Metals (like Calcium) and oxidize the Calcium in the soil, while also chelating surrounding nutrients in the process. Oxidizing Calcium in the soil is no easy task (it’s a very large, heavy, and DOMINANT cation).

Not all ENHANCED lime and gypsum products are created equal! Ask the salesman for specifics, ask for testing data, check the labels and make sure a specific acid is claimed on the guaranteed analysis. Look for a company or product you have heard about for several years. One that has been marketed in reputable trade publications. Search out a company that you trust that what is in the bag today will be in the bag next month and was in the bag three years ago (companies changing formulas are not reliable), and most of all, BE AWARE OF WHAT IS IN THE BAG. If you don’t know, then ask someone that does.