What is trisodium phosphate?
One of the CAS Numbers of trisodium phosphate is 7601-54-9, and it’s abbreviated as TSP. We can take phosphoric acid( H3PO4) as a matrix, then the three hydrogen ions( H+) in the molecular structure are all replaced by three metal sodium atom( Na), and forms the resulting product----TSP. For phosphoric acid H3PO4 is a ternary acid, its molecular formula has three metal ions that can be replaced by hydrogen ions.
Normally, trisodium phosphate is needle-like crystal or crystalline powder in white color or colorless, and it is odorless. Its dodecahydrate has a melting point of 73.4 °C. TSP is soluble in water but insoluble in ethanol and carbon disulfide. And the aqueous solution has strongly alkalinity.
In the dry air, deliquescence may happen to trisodium phosphate and forms sodium dihydrogen phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. In water, it is almost completely decomposed into disodium hydrogen phosphate and sodium hydroxide. When heated to 55 ~ 65 °C it will form into decahydrate, and when heated to 60 ~ 100 °C it will form into hexahydrate.
The main usage of trisodium phosphate
It has been used in chemical, textile, printing and dyeing, paper making, power generation and metallurgical industries. In food processing, It can be used for the quality improvement, for example, maintaining the water holding capacity of meat, enhancing the bonding strength to avoid nutrients loss and keeping the soft texture in the meat products, and can also be used as emulsifier, nutritional supplements and quality improving agent. Moreover, it is also used in the detergent for food bottles, cans and others.
What is trisodium phosphate used for in food
In the field of food, trisodium phosphate is used as a quality improver, which has the effect of improving the capability of complex metal ion, pH value and increasing the ionic strength, thereby improving the kneading strength and water holding capacity of the food. But trisodium phosphate itself is harmful to humans in high dose, and may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps or systemic poisoning. General Mills was once questioned because they added trisodium phosphate in their own cereal products (such as lucky charms), but their added doses were within the FDA standard.
What is trisodium phosphate used for in cleaning
In the last century, trisodium phosphate was the best raw material for soap and detergent, but the usage in this field has decreased now because of environmental problems. When used as a cleaner in industry, it is usually diluted. Because TSP can damage the skin and other body parts of human being, pure TSP is not recommended to be used as a cleaning agent in daily life. Lemon juice, white vinegar, detergent and baking soda are better alternatives.
Here are some precautions during the application of trisodium phosphate:
If your eyes have accidentally contacted with trisodium phosphate, please rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek for medical advice.
Do wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye/face protections when using trisodium phosphate.
If there is an accident or if you feel sick, seek medical advice immediately ( and show the label if possible).