Potassium sorbate is a salt which is naturally found in multitude of fruits and vegetables including berries of the mountain ash tree. It is an additive which prolongs shelf life of items by stopping growth of yeast, mold and fungi. It was first discovered by the French in 1850s and was derived from mountain ash tree berries. For the last 50 years it has been safely used as a preservative. US FDA recognizes it as generally safe when it is appropriately used.
More about Potassium Sorbate
Although it is naturally found, it is also mass produced synthetically due to high demand. It is worth mentioning here that even the synthetic version of potassium sorbate is officially classified and recognized as generally safe. It enjoys food grade designation by almost every government in the world. In fact potassium sorbate has been subjected to a number of double-blind studies before being declared absolutely safe. This is why it is nowadays considered as one of the safest preservatives. It is commonly found in every bit of commercially sold wine, cheese and various other products including cosmetics and hair care items.
Uses of Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate is widely used across a range of industrial products. It is also added to food for preventing growth of fungi and mold. Because it has no taste or smell, it is a very popular food additive.
Excellent Food Preservative – Widely used in commercial food products which are precooked and stored at room temperature. Canned vegetables and fruits, desserts, dried meat and canned fish all contain potassium sorbate. All foods which are prone to growth of mold, like ice cream, yogurt and cheese require this excellent preservative. Several other foods which are not fresh also rely on potassium sorbate in order to keep them from spoiling. Potassium sorbate in commercial food is very common.
Essential to Winemaking – The winemaking industry commonly uses potassium sorbate so as to prevent wine from losing its flavor. This is because the fermentation process in wine would continue after bottling without potassium sorbate and cause changes to flavor. Even sodas, juices and soft drinks are often found to use potassium sorbate as preservative.
Part of Beauty Products – There are many other uses of potassium sorbate. Several beauty products are also prone to mold growth and therefore require a preservative like this to extend their life. Many skin and hair care products also use potassium sorbate as a preservative. It is likely that your skin cream, scalp serum, hair spray or shampoo contains potassium sorbate.
Why We Use Potassium Sorbate
Water based cosmetics without preservatives are a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and microbial growth. Ristrah uses potassium sorbate because it is a food grade safe preservative and an excellent alternative to parabens. It helps prevent growth of microorganisms and protects the product from spoiling.