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Some Common Phosphates Used as Food Additives

clock2016-11-16

A phosphate is an inorganic chemical and a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Phosphates are the naturally occurring form of the element phosphorus, found in many phosphate minerals. In mineralogy and geology, phosphate refers to a rock or ore containing phosphate ions. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in agriculture and industry. Phosphates are among the most common food additives, found in many categories of foods. They can be used to leaven baked goods, reduce acid and improve moisture retention and tenderness in processed meats.

Phosphates

Sodium Hexametaphosphate (SHMP)

SHMP is used as a sequestrant and has applications within a wide variety of industries, including as a food additive in which it is used under the E number E452i. Sodium carbonate is sometimes added to SHMP to raise the pH to 8.0–8.6, which produces a number of SHMP products used for water softening and detergents.

As a food additive, SHMP is normally found in artificial maple syrup, canned milk, cheese powders and dips, imitation cheese, whipped topping, packaged egg whites, roast beef, fish fillets, fruit jelly, frozen desserts, salad dressing, herring, breakfast cereal, ice cream, beer, and bottled beverages.

Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP)

STPP is a preservative for seafood, meats, poultry, and animal feeds. It is common in food production as E number E451. In foods, STPP is used as an emulsifier and to retain moisture. Many governments regulate the quantities allowed in foods, as it can substantially increase the sale weight of seafood in particular. The United States Food and Drug Administration lists STPP as "generally recognized as safe."

Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (TSPP)

Tetrasodium pyrophosphate, also called sodium pyrophosphate, tetrasodium phosphate or TSPP, is a colorless transparent crystalline chemical compound composed of pyrophosphate and sodium ions.

Tetrasodium pyrophosphate is used as a buffering agent, an emulsifier, a dispersing agent, and a thickening agent, and is often used as a food additive. Common foods containing tetrasodium pyrophosphate include chicken nuggets, marshmallows, pudding, crab meat, imitation crab, canned tuna, and soy-based meat alternatives and cat foods and cat treats where it is used as a palatability enhancer.

Disodium pyrophosphate (SAPP)

Disodium pyrophosphate or sodium acid pyrophosphate is an inorganic compound consisting of sodium cations and pyrophosphate anion. It is a white, water-soluble solid that serves as a buffering and chelating agent, with many applications in the food industry.

Disodium pyrophosphate is a popular leavening agent found in baking powders. It is designated in the United States as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for food use. It is used in canned seafood to maintain color and reduce purge during retorting. Retorting achieves microbial stability with heat. It is an acid source for reaction with baking soda to leaven baked goods. In baking powder, it is often labeled as food additive E450. Disodium pyrophosphate is also found in frozen hash browns and other potato products, where it is used to keep the color of the potatoes from darkening.

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