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Stichting Food-Info> E-numbers > E200-300

E201: Sodium sorbate / Sorbic acid sodium salt

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

Sodium salt of sorbic acid (E200), which 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). Sodium sorbate is often used, as it is better soluble; its activity is similar to that of sorbic acid.

Sodium sorbate is used in the same range of products as sorbic acid, for example, 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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