Potassium sorbate (also known as E202) is a naturally derived food preservative… …Potassium sorbate has been safely used above .2% for decades. It is characterized by its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Potassium sorbate works by inhibiting the development of mold, yeasts, and other fungi. It is therefore used extensively in wine production.

What is potassium sorbate in food?

Potassium sorbate is an enzyme-inhibiting preservative that works by disrupting the cell walls of microorganisms. It is added to foods to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold. It is used in wine, beer, fruit juices, and other beverages where it prevents the growth of undesirable yeasts.

Potassium sorbate is also known as E202 because it has been approved by the European Union (EU) as a food additive since 1990. The United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved potassium sorbate for use in foods since 1965, but only as a preservative in wines, hops and fruit juice concentrates. The FDA has not approved potassium sorbate for use in foods other than those mentioned above

Potassium sorbate has no effect on people with normal immune systems, but it can be toxic if consumed by people with severely compromised immune systems or Grade Chemical allergies to this chemical. People who have had organ transplants may be especially sensitive to potassium sorbate because their bodies do not produce antibodies against foreign substances

What is potassium sorbate used for?

Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit the growth of yeast, mold and some bacteria. Potassium sorbate is a food additive approved for use in the United States. It can be found in meat products, dairy products, baked goods, frozen foods and processed vegetables.

Potassium sorbate may be used in combination with other preservatives such as benzoates (e.g., sodium benzoate), sulfites (e.g., sulfites) or nitrites (e.g., nitrites).

Potassium sorbate is also used in winemaking. It has been shown to be effective against strains of Acetobacter acetic, Bacterium acetoacetigenes, and Lactobacillus hilgardii in winemaking musts(the liquid that comes from grapes after crushing).

Potassium sorbate is also used in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent the growth of microorganisms. It is also used in pharmaceuticals as a preservative.

How to use potassium sorbate?

You can use potassium sorbate in the following ways:

To inhibit yeast growth. Potassium sorbate is used in many foods as a preservative. It inhibits mold and yeast growth, making it useful for keeping foods such as jams, jellies, syrups, Anbu Chem and other products from spoiling.

As an antioxidant preservative. Potassium sorbate can also be used to prevent oxidation of fats in food products. This is particularly important for seafoods such as tuna steaks or salmon fillets that have been marinated with oil or lemon juice and then cooked in the same oil or juices. If you add potassium sorbate to these marinades before cooking them, you can prevent oxidation of the fat in the fish so that it remains bright red after cooking.

In cheese making. Potassium sorbate is added to cheesemaking mixtures during fermentation to prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the cheese curd during aging (see How Cheese Is Made).

How does potassium sorbate work?

Potassium sorbate inhibits the growth of mold and yeast by stopping the enzyme oxidase from functioning properly. This enzyme is needed for respiration, which is necessary for life. Without it, no fermentation can occur, so mold or yeast will not grow in a product containing potassium sorbate.

How is potassium sorbate made?

By neutralizing sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide, it can be manufactured commercially by neutralizing other food preservatives such as E200 (a naturally occurring food preservative that can be found in berries).

The manufacturing process can be summarized in four steps:

  1. By condensation of ketene and crotonaldehyde, 3-hydroxy-4-hexenoic acid polymeric ester is obtained. A reaction equation is as follows: H2C=C=O + CH3–CH=CH–CHO = CH3CH=CH−CH=CH−COOH
  2. Decomposition: Sorbic acid is produced as a result of the decomposition of the polyester.
  3. Purification: It can be accomplished by activating carbon, distilling, recrystallizing, or any combination thereof.
  4. Potassium hydroxide neutralization.

Potassium sorbate specification

Potassium sorbate properties


With a neutral taste and odor, this powder is crystal white, granular, or spherical. If exposed to humid air, it absorbs water easily and expires.

Potassium sorbate structure


Water and ethanol are freely soluble. It is usually made into its water-soluble potassium salt – potassium sorbate (solubility 67.6g/100ml at 20 °C) as a preservative in food due to its low water solubility (0.16g/100ml at 20 °C).


The antimicrobial activity of this substance is best under acidic conditions with a pH value of less than 5-6 and in a wide range of pH from 3.0 to 6.5. As the pH decreases, the activity increases.

In contrast, sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate almost lost their antimicrobial activity in the presence of a higher pH range, whereas potassium benzoate will still be effective at PH 6.5, while sodium benzoate cannot be used in the presence of higher pH ranges. It is important to note, however, that potassium sorbate will also be ineffective at pH levels above 7.0.

What’s the application of potassium sorbate?

A variety of microorganisms are protected by using sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate together in acidic foods. Microorganisms such as mold, yeast, and other microbes cannot grow in potassium sorbate, which prolongs food preservation.

Depending on PH, microbial types, and other factors, preservation dosages range from 250 ppm to 1000 ppm.

Use it directly, spray it, add it to packing materials, etc.

Soft Drink

Diet soft drinks often contain potassium sorbate as a preservative.

Coca Cola

In addition to sodium and potassium benzoate, potassium sorbate is also commonly used as a preservative in some non-carbonated and juice-containing drinks used by Coca-Cola to protect the flavor of the beverage. It can be found in ingredients lists for Sprite Limeade and Fanta Orange as well.


Pig, poultry, cat, and dog food can also be safely preserved with it.

Is potassium sorbate safe to use?

Yes, it’s safe to use potassium sorbate in food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it as a food additive and listed it as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). It can be used in all kinds of foods, including baked goods, dairy products, fruit juices, jams and jellies, and canned fish.


In the human body, potassium sorbate is metabolized into water and CO2 after participating in fat metabolism.


Chemical preservatives that are used in accordance with good manufacturing practices are generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

How much to use

Potassium Sorbate vs Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate is a widely used preservative in food and beverages. It has been used for years because it’s cheap, effective, and safe. However, there are new concerns about sodium benzoate as a preservative for food products.

Potassium sorbate is another widely used preservative with similar properties to sodium benzoate. This article will compare potassium sorbate with sodium benzoate and look at their strengths and weaknesses as preservatives.

Sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are both antimicrobial agents used in food products to prevent spoilage by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria. The most common application of these two substances is as an additive to acidic foods such as fruit juices or salad dressings where they prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes or E. coli O157:H7 (1).

What are the side effects of potassium sorbate?

It has been determined that potassium sorbate may cause some health problems, even though the FDA and EFSA have approved it as safe.

Side effects of potassium sorbate may include:

Allergic reactions. Potassium sorbate can cause allergic reactions in some people. Signs of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling, and shortness of breath.

Gastrointestinal symptoms. In some people, gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, flatulence (gas), and diarrhea have been reported after taking potassium sorbate.

Other side effects have included redness or irritation at the injection site and headache.


The presence of potassium sorbate in cosmetics and personal products can cause allergy symptoms like skin and eye irritation.


Potassium sorbate has not been proven to be genotoxic, but a study in 2012 found that sodium sorbate at the highest concentration may be genotoxic.

Does Potassium Sorbate cause Cancer?

There is no evidence that it is carcinogenic. However, due to its mutagenic and genotoxic effects, sodium sorbate may also cause cancer.

Too much Potassium sorbate

It has been reported that a high intake of potassium sorbate (more than 25 mg/kg) may cause DNA breakage and other adverse effects, according to a book published in 2018 entitled Trends in Food Science & Technology.

Is it safe for Pregnancy?

Pregnancy-related use of this condition is generally considered safe, but it is best to consult your doctor first.

Why is potassium sorbate banned in Europe?

In Europe, potassium sorbate has been banned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The Efficacy Committee of EFSA concluded that potassium sorbate is not safe for human consumption. The conclusion was based on a study done by the University of Leipzig in Germany.

The study found that potassium sorbate can cause allergies and skin reactions. The researchers also discovered that it can cause infertility in males, as well as neurological disorders.

The EFSA concluded that potassium sorbate may also cause cancer in animals and humans alike. In fact, when tested on mice, rats and rabbits, potassium sorbate was found to cause tumors in all three species.

Potassium sorbate is commonly added to food products such as baked goods and fruit juices to prevent mold growth and extend shelf life. However, the European Food Safety Authority believes that its use should be limited to only those cases where there is high risk of contamination from molds or yeast growth.

Is potassium sorbate safe for the skin?

Potassium sorbate is generally considered safe for use on skin, particularly when applied topically in small amounts. In fact, potassium sorbate is often used in cosmetics as an antimicrobial agent. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) considers it safe for use in foods at levels up to 0.02 percent by weight and at levels up to 0.20 percent by weight in cosmetics and personal care products.

There are some concerns about using potassium sorbate on sensitive skin or if you’re allergic to sulfur compounds. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to sulfur compounds such as sulfites or sulfates found in some foods, you may need to avoid products that contain potassium sorbate or other types of preservatives.

What is the benefit of potassium sorbate?

Potassium sorbate is a food additive used as a preservative. It is a sorbic acid salt of potassium, which can be prepared by neutralizing sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide. It is generally used in combination with other preservatives to prevent growth of yeast, fungi, and some bacteria in foods.

The benefits of potassium sorbate are:

– It is used to preserve food products, such as cream cheese and other dairy products, bottled beverages and frozen foods.

– It prevents the growth of yeast and other microorganisms.

– It is used in the manufacturing of polyvinyl alcohol.

– It is used as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

Where to buy potassium sorbate?

There are many places where you can buy potassium sorbate. You can get it from the store, online, and even from your local pharmacy. Below are some of the best places where you can buy potassium sorbate:

Store: One of the most common places where people buy potassium sorbate is in a store. However, this is only possible if you have a store near you that stocks this product. If there is no store near you, then you may have to order it online or travel to another location where they sell potassium sorbate.

Online: Another great place to purchase this product is online through an e-commerce website like Amazon or eBay. These websites are known for having everything under one roof and they also offer free shipping on all their products which makes them very convenient for customers who do not want to spend too much money or time traveling from one location to another looking for other products that they need for their business or home use.

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