How to Preserve Food with Sorbic Acid

Sorbic acid was discovered in 1859 by reacting rowanberry oil (from the juice of unripe rowanberry) with strong alkalis. Sorbic acid has antimicrobial effect. Alkali sorbates have good solubility in water. Potassium sorbate can be made into solutions of more than 50% in cold water. Potassium sorbate is the salt of Sorbic acid that is mainly used in food preservations. As an aliphatic carboxytic acid, Sorbic acid is utilized in human and animal bodies like any other fatty acid.

Sorbic acid is not carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic. The main action of Sorbic acid is to inhibit the growth of fungi and yeasts – it acts against bacteria. The maximum quantity of Sorbic acid permissible is 0.2 percent relative to the food to be preserved. Use Sorbic acid to preserve cheese, margarine, butter, mayonnaise, tomato juice, etc., etc. Use Sorbic acid with small quantities of sulfur dioxide and or pasteurization to preserve fruit juices and marmalades. Use Sorbic acid to remove cloudiness in wines.

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