Potassium sorbate: what is it, the impact on health

So that the products do not become unusable ahead of time, a method was invented for their preservation with the help of additives. Thanks to the use of preservatives, it is possible to increase the shelf life of many products. Their storage is facilitated and their quick disposal after opening is not required. Therefore, dyes, preservatives, in the form of additives are widely used in the current food industry.

According to domestic and foreign scientists, they cannot harm health. The only question is that some additives should be used in doses, while others can be used indefinitely. In the modern food industry, many technological methods of production are used. These technologies are constantly being improved. And the additive E202 is one of the substances of such methods.

History of creation

Before this additive was used in the food industry in order to preserve products, they used an expensive method using citric acid and salt. Nowadays, they have been replaced by many other chemical additives that differ from acid and salt in their cheapness. Such an element is potassium sorbate E202. Previously, it was isolated from rowan juice. Nowadays, this technology is no longer used.

The question of what to do with products so that they remain fresh as long as possible and do not deteriorate has been worrying people for a long time. The discovery by scientists of the fact that the basis of the process leading to spoilage of products is the activity of microorganisms prompted them to find ways to deal with them.


Many trials and experiments have been carried out. Based on these experiments, potassium sorbate as an additive to products with preservative properties was obtained from mountain ash, and then in 1945 a patent was received for this preservative.

Most scientists are of the opinion that additives do not harm health. Their remaining colleagues, on the contrary, conclude that harmless preservatives do not exist. And that any additive is potentially harmful to the body.

What it is?

Preservative E202 is an acid salt that has the chemical formula C6H7KO2. Potassium sorbate is obtained by carrying out a chemical neutralization reaction between alkali (potassium hydroxide) and sorbic acid. In the past, it was obtained without the use of chemical reactions from certain types of vegetable seeds.

This compound, called preservative E202, has its own characteristics and properties:

  • Outwardly, this white powder may look like granules.
  • Has no smell and taste.
  • It has good solubility in water. During dissolution, sorbic acid is released. Due to this, the product is preserved.


How does it affect health

With the help of studies, it was found that this supplement is not harmful to humans. When this preservative is taken orally, the hormonal background remains normal. Does not lead to oncological consequences. And also does not have on the genes of the action leading to their mutations. Of all the additives, it has hypoallergenic properties. It does not linger in the body, as it dissolves well. The taste of food does not change.

Preservative E202 prevents the growth of mold fungi. For this reason, this preservative is used to increase the shelf life of sausages and cheese products. Since it is odorless and tasteless, it is widely used in fruit juices and canned vegetables. Also used in a variety of confectionery desserts. Well preserved in an acidic environment, potassium sorbate is used in oriental sauces with well seasoned spices.


Products that are stored for a long time must have potassium sorbate in their composition. Usually its presence in the product is written on the packaging. There are many products with this supplement. Confectionery, non-alcoholic wines, margarine and a large number of other shelf-stable food products where the use of E202 is required.

The main branches of the food industry where this preservative is used:

  • Cheese making.
  • Vegetable fermentation.
  • Production of ketchup, tomato paste, mayonnaise, mustard.
  • Production of canned food with jam, juice jam. Puree from fruits and berries against mold and fermentation.
  • Creams, lotions and shampoos also use this substance in order to preserve their properties.

The widespread use of this additive in many industries is due to the fact that it does not harm a person. The main thing is to observe the norm of consumption of products with this preservative and the correct observance of the conditions during production.

Harm to health

Preservative E202 can harm the body due to two reasons:

  • The content of this salt should not exceed the established norm. This can happen due to non-compliance with technology. It is impossible to allow an increase in this additive in the product by more than 0.2%. This figure is the allowable number that does not lead to negative consequences for the body.
  • Excessive consumption of food in the composition, which includes this preservative. During the day, 1 kg of body weight should account for 25 mg of this supplement. If there is more than 5 g of this preservative per 1 kg of body weight, then this can lead to death.


These two reasons are the main conditions in the safe use of this supplement in food. Ignoring them can adversely affect health and lead to such consequences:

  1. In fermented milk products and not only in them, it can destroy not only harmful microorganisms, but also bacteria that benefit the body.
  2. The intestinal microflora can be destroyed by excessive content of E202 in the product. The digestive system is disrupted. This can lead to dysbiosis.
  3. The mucous membranes of the stomach and mouth can be damaged.
  4. Pathological changes in the liver and kidneys may occur.
  5. Immunity may decrease.
  6. Exceeding the allowable dose in food leads to cancer, lung disease, cirrhosis of the liver. In several countries, the use of this preservative in food has been banned.

The negative effect of potassium sorbate can occur if its percentage is violated. As well as the total number of food products that have this preservative in their composition. If you follow the correct strategy for using this additive in products, then the destructive effect on the body of this substance will be reduced to zero.

There are also prohibitions on eating food that contains this salt. In case you have:

  • Allergic reactions.
  • You do not transfer precisely E202.
  • During pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In this case, food containing this preservative should not be consumed.

At the same time, E202 in many countries of the world …

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