Potassium sorbate is a white salt that primarily used as a food preservative with E number 202. Its chemical formula of E202 food additive is CH3CH=CH−CH=CH−CO2K and can easily dissolve in water and alcohol. Preservative E202 can inhibit the activity of dehydrogenase in mold cells, and combine with sulfhydryl base in enzyme system, thus destroy many important enzyme systems and achieve the purpose of preservation and bacteriostatic action.
Uses of E202 Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate in foods can inhibit molds and yeasts, as well as used as non nutritional sweeteners to meet the special needs of certain patients. It has a wide range of uses in food, beverages, pickles, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agricultural products, feed and other industries.
Because of its preservative, safety, stability and the improvement of the sensory properties of food, potassium sorbate is a kind of food preservative widely used in developed countries.
Potassium sorbate can extend the retention period if added to wine beverages, soda beverages, fresh orange juice and other beverages in proper proportions.
This preservative can be directly added to flour or pasta. It is dissolved in water or milk before adding to flour or dough. It would be better to use a small amount of vinegar to make the material acidified in advance when sorbic acid and potassium salt are used in starch products.
Sorbic acid and potassium salt can be used in hard cheese, cheese powder, salted cheese, fresh cheese, emulsified cheese, prepackaged cheese and other food as preservative. There are three ways to use preservative E202: potassium sorbate is added to the salt solution and cheese is made from this salt solution; soak or spray the potassium sorbate solution before the cheese is sold; soak or sprinkle cheese with a sorbic acid solution containing a certain amount of alcohol.
Besides, it is used in many personal-care products, and many manufacturers are using this preservative as a replacement of benzoic acid.
Side Effects of E202 Preservative
Under some conditions, especially at high concentrations or when combined with nitrites, food additive E202 has shown genotoxic activity in vitro.
To some extent, it inhibits skeletal development and could endanger kidneys and livers if it excesses the certain amount or with long-term taking.
Its bacteriostatic effect is 5~10 times higher than that of the traditional sodium benzoate. Also, its toxicity is only 1/5 of that of sodium benzoate, 1/2 of salt. It will not destroy the original color, aroma, taste and nutrition of the food.
This preservative can be absorbed by the body's metabolic system and quickly decomposed into carbon dioxide and water. There is no residue in human's body. As long as not exceeding the limit requirements, it is very safe.