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E200: Sorbic acid

t-2, 4-hexadienoic acid; 2-propenylacrylic acid

Sorbic acid naturally occurs in the fruit of the European Mountain-ash (Sorbus aucuparia ), after which the acid is named. It is commercially produced by several different chemical pathways.

Function & characteristics:
Sorbic acid is a preservative, mainly against fungi and yeasts. It is not effective against bacteria. Optimal activity is at pH values below 6.5 (acid and slightly acid foods).

Sorbic acid is used in a wide range of products, such as yoghurt and other fermented dairy products, fruit salads, confectionery, lemonade, cheese, rye bread, cakes and bakery products, pizza, shellfish, lemon juice, wine, cider and soups.

Daily intake:
Up to 25 mg/kg body weight.

Side effects:
No side effects in the concentrations used. Only a very small percentage of people show slight pseudo-allergic reactions.

Dietary restrictions:
None sorbates can be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians. is an initiative of Stichting Food-Info, The Netherlands

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