Potassium sorbate occurs naturally in a handful of a few varieties of berries, but is more widely recognized in a synthetic form. It is highly soluble in water, at which time its white crystalline powder structure degenerates to sorbic acid and potassium. Potassium sorbate is odorless and tasteless; combined with its high solubility and availability in a wide pH range it is ideal for food and beverage usage. Potassium sorbate inhibits yeast and mold growth, which leads to its widespread use in wineries and food preservative industries, including its addition in cheese and yogurt, dried and processed fruits and meats, and ciders. As you may have noted, many of the products listed in the last sentence have the ability to be stored at room temperature while still maintaining its ability to prevent microbe and mold development; that is indeed one of the strengths of potassium sorbate. This factor gives potassium sorbate ready availability to be added to many personal care products, such as shampoos and lotions, and herbal dietary supplements to extend shelf life by preventing microbial growth, in which case it may be listed as E202.
However, many manufacturers instead choose to coat food exteriors or wax wrappers with potassium sorbate, which will not alter the contents of the food while still offering potassium sorbate’s positive advantages. In wine and other substances, potassium sorbate breaks down into sorbic acid, which deters yeast from proliferating, thereby discouraging additional fermentation.
The next time you drink a glass of wine or eat a fruit-filled yogurt cup, thank potassium sorbate for making your snack enjoyable.
As a leading chemical supply company in Orlando, Bell Chem offers fast delivery of hundreds of chemical products including Potassium sorbate. With several seaports located within a few short hours, our Florida chemical supply company is positioned as the “go to” supplier on a national and international level. To learn more about our products, call Bell Chem today at 407-339-2355.