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Potassium Sorbate and Its Uses

Have you ever read the ingredients list that you buy from groceries or bakeries? If Yes, did you find that Potassium Sorbate is one of the common ingredients used in every other food? Absolutely, it is used in many regularly used products due to its beautiful and useful properties. Today, I have decided to dedicate this guide to what Potassium Sorbate is and what its uses are. So…follow the blueprints of this article to get more information.

Let’s dig in below!

What Exactly is Potassium Sorbate?

Let’s meet one of the widely used chemical and food preservatives – Potassium Sorbate. You can also call it a chemical additive that is most commonly used in personal care products (more specifically hair products and makeup), drinks (wines, etc.), and foods (cakes, jams, etc.). More interestingly, the main reason why it is a popular chemical additive is that it is colorless and odorless.

It is a salt that is synthetically curated from two chemicals – Potassium Hydroxide and Sorbic Acid. Moreover, its basic functionality is to increase the shelf life of anything, especially foods and drinks. It does this by saying “No” to the overgrowth of fungi, yeast, and mold. All credit goes to the bacteria-stopping properties of the Potassium Sorbate preservative.

Actually, the French stumbled upon a fascinating discovery of Potassium Sorbate in the 1850s which was a natural treasure hidden in the berries of the mountain ash tree. Furthermore, researchers have been studying its secrets and discovering its amazing ability to keep things fresh for more than five decades. And now, the experts and scientists at the FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) have given it a thumbs up. They are saying that it is safe to use when you do it right.

What are the Uses of Potassium Sorbate?

Let’s walk through what are the common uses of Potassium Sorbate that make it an interesting and friendly preservative.

1. Preserving Food Items:

You would already have found Potassium Sorbate preservative in the ingredients list of hundreds of food items found in groceries, food shops, stores, bakery shops, and cafes. This type of preservative is one of the most reputable, trustworthy, and popular preservatives than its competitors. The reason is simple – it is found more effective in preserving the quality of a particular product like its appearance, quality, smell, and taste.

Plus, it is dissolvable in the regularly used water and you can see that it works very well even at room temperature. As proof, you can check the ingredients list of the following foods and you’ll find that potassium sorbate is added to these products without any hesitation:

  • Yogurt
  • Wine
  • Pickles
  • Soft drinks
  • Juices
  • Canned vegetables
  • Ice creams
  • Dried meats
  • Dried fruits
  • Cheeses
  • Baked products
  • Canned fruits
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sauces and condiments (e.g., ketchup, mustard, relish)
  • Jams and jellies
  • Marmalades
  • Fruit preserves
  • Canned meats (e.g., tuna, chicken, beef)
  • Soups and broths
  • Snack foods (e.g., chips, crackers, popcorn)
  • Chocolate and candy products
  • Energy bars and protein powders
  • Flavorings and extracts (e.g., vanilla, almond, lemon)

And, the list goes on. You can see how important and effective potassium sorbate is in preserving and saving our daily life food-related products. Otherwise, the food industry would not be able to effectively preserve these daily-use food items.

2. Preservatives in Personal Care Products:

Potassium Sorbate antimicrobial is also used in preserving your personal care products and hygiene products. Moreover, this chemical is used in the following given products:

  • Contact Lens Solutions
  • Shampoos
  • Moisturizers
  • Eyeshadows and many other cosmetics (e.g., foundation, blush, lipstick)
  • Deodorants and antiperspirants
  • Toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Hair conditioners and treatments
  • Skin creams and lotions
  • Sunscreens and sunblocks
  • Makeup removers and cleansers
  • Fragrances and perfumes
  • Baby products (e.g., baby wash, baby lotion)
  • First aid creams and ointments
  • Insect repellents
  • After-sun products
  • Self-tanning products
  • Hair dyes and coloring products

Thus, the list is long where potassium sorbate chemical is used in personal care products.

3. Saves Animal Feed from Contamination:

In addition to the above-mentioned uses, Potassium Sorbate is a superhero preservative. Why? This is because it is not only a trusted guardian of human snacks but also a good preserver of pet food items. It is approved for safe use in moist dog and cat foods, as well as other animal feed. So, it is a reliable way to prevent spoilage and contamination of pet foods.

The lifetime of pet food obviously increases with the use of potassium sorbate as it keeps the harmful microorganisms at bay. In addition to that, it is also used in fish and shrimp feed as a perfect preservative and supports the health and well-being of aquatic animals. Plus, it keeps the diet of birds fresh and yeast-free.

Safe Addition in Drinks:

According to the research study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the US Food and Drugs Administration, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), potassium sorbate is a safe additive in various drinks if used correctly and safely. Also, it safely passes through your digestive system and does not cause any harm to your body. It passes out in the form of carbon dioxide and water. So, you can see that it is added to the following drinks:

  • Juices
  • Wines
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Flavored waters
  • Tea and coffee
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Fruit smoothies and purees
  • Cider and beer
  • Sparkling water
  • Flavored seltzer water

Thus, this is a widely used preservative in the beverage industry due to its safe and non-toxic profile. However, we should keep in mind that the intake of more than 1,750 mg of potassium sorbate per day for an adult of 150 pounds is not healthy at all. Otherwise, it can cause severe bad symptoms and side effects. Hence, keeping the potassium sorbate intake in control is a good way to keep your body healthy.

Do you know about the use of potassium sorbate preservatives in any other industry? Let me know in the comments section.

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