Additional Info on Potassium Sorbate


Know about what is potassium sorbate ? Potassium sorbate is commonly used as a preservative in food without affecting the food’s flavor or color. It is specifically used to restrain the growing of molds, yeast, and microbes in the food. Although it is also used in wine, flavoring products, tobacco, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products to increase shelf-life. Potassium sorbate is synthetically made and compared to other popular preservative called Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate is more effective at preserving foods.

It is characterized as a white to pale yellow granular powder and is water soluble. It is more soluble in water than acid, its effectiveness depends on the pH level of the product. The higher the pH of the product the higher the amount of potassium sorbate required for preservation.

Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid. Its chemical formula is C6H7KO2, which means that one molecule is composed of six carbon atoms, seven hydrogen atoms, one potassium atom, and two oxygen atoms.

The chemical structure of potassium sorbate was determined in 1850’s and was discovered by the French. It is a natural organic compound secluded from the oil of rowan berry. It was chemically produced during the 1900’s and were not commercially used until the 1940’s after various experimentations. Since 1950’s the compound undergoes repeated tests to ensure it’s safeness.

Benefits of potassium sorbate – Some of the common uses of potassium sorbate are associated with the preventing the molds of soy, wine, cheese, edible vinegar, and salted vegetables. Soaking foods in a 0.3% solution of potassium sorbate for 30 seconds before freezing, can keep their original flavor. It also helps in preventing sourness and bubble to man-made creams and salad oil because of fermentation. It also as a neutralizer in the production of lubricants and plasticizers, aids in the milling quality of rubber, and improves the luster of certain coatings.

Potassium sorbate is commonly found in many processed foods such as artificial crabs made from pollack, fish sausage and fish roe, fish pastes (such as lobster, crab, and mixed fishes), smoked or salted dried fish.

Dairy products usually contain potassium sorbate. For instance, yogurt, sour cream, fudge, dips, cottage cheese, margarine, mayonnaise,  sandwich spreads, and different types of cheeses. Salads prepared with mayonnaise includes potassium sorbate as well, these concoctions includes the uses of tuna, macaroni, crab, seafood and potato salads.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), various processed fruits contain potassium sorbate as sorbic acid. Fruit juices, fruit nectars, and fruit juice concentrate can have an average of one gram of potassium sorbate per kilogram.

Dried fruits are also noted for containing preservatives, these include raisins, dates, figs, apricots, prunes, blueberries, cranberries, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and apples. Syrups made from these fruits also contain potassium sorbate.

Potassium sorbate is commonly considered as safe and non-toxic, it has GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status, but a prolonged use of the solution may lead to kidney or renal problems, brain and nervous system disorder. At high concentration, it can also cause allergic reactions that irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

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