What Is Potassium Sorbate?

Sep. 27, 2022

Potassium sorbate is a chemical additive. It is widely used as a preservative in food, beverages and personal care products. It is a tasteless and odourless salt made from a combination of sorbic acid and potassium hydroxide.

Potassium sorbate extends the shelf life of foods by preventing the growth of moulds, yeasts and fungi. It was discovered in the 1850s by the French, who extracted it from the berries of the mountain ash tree. Its safety and use as a preservative has been studied over the last fifty years. It has been confirmed as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used appropriately.

What is Potassium Sorbate?

You will find potassium sorbate in the list of ingredients of many common foods. It is a popular preservative because it is effective and does not alter the qualities of the product, such as taste, smell or appearance. It is also water-soluble and can be used at room temperature.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium Sorbate

You may find it has been added to many foods such as 


baked goods

Canned fruit and vegetables


Dried meats

Dried fruit

Ice cream


Soft drinks and juices



Potassium sorbate is also used as an antibacterial agent and preservative in personal care products, such as

Eye shadows and other cosmetics

Shampoos and moisturisers

Contact lens solutions

Potassium sorbate is also approved for safe use as a preservative in moist dog and cat food and other animal feed.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium Sorbate

Is potassium sorbate safe for consumption?

Regulatory bodies such as the FDA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have determined that potassium sorbate is "generally regarded as safe", abbreviated as GRAS. when you eat potassium sorbate as a food additive, it passes through your system harmlessly, like water and carbon dioxide. It does not accumulate in your body.

What does the research say?

In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed potassium sorbate and two other food additives. It set a provisionally acceptable daily intake of 3 mg per kg of body weight per day. This limit was in response to questions about reproductive and developmental toxicity in animal studies. No adverse effects were observed when rats were given 300 mg per day. The standard set by EFSO has been reduced by a factor of 100 to increase safety.

The maximum acceptable daily intake for humans is 25 mg per kg body weight (mg/kg). For a 150 lb adult, this is 1,750 mg per day.

Make the choice that's right for you

Read food ingredient labels carefully. Pay attention to the food in your food. Even if potassium sorbate and other additives are considered safe, you can avoid them by eating less processed foods.

If you think you are allergic to potassium sorbate, see if the allergic reaction goes away when you stop eating or using the item containing the additive.

Founded in 2008, Qinmu fine chemical Co., Ltd. is located in the Yanshan Industrial area, Jiangxi province, whose head office is located in the beautiful spring city Jinan, We have 2 pieces of 1000L/high-pressure reactors, 4 pieces of 200L/high-pressure hydrogenation reactors, and other advanced equipment like Germany-imported centrifuges, dryers, rectifying tower and so on.