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Dangerous Caution Safe


Uses: Typical products include wine, cheese, other fermented products, desert sauces and fillings, soups, sweets, drinks, yeast goods, yogurt, candied peel, cider. medicines and cosmetics. Also used as a preservative in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Possible skin irritant, and may cause rashes, asthma and hyperactivity.

Not approved for use in Australia.


Description: Sorbic acid occurs naturally in fruit, used as a preservative it inhibits fungal growth but allows for bacterial activity, hence is useful for cheese. Obtained from the berries of mountain ash or synthesised from ketene.

Sorbic acid is used in conjunction with Sulphur Dioxide in wine making, without SO2 bacteria cause reduction of sorbic acid to sorbyl alcohol which converts to a foul smelling ether. Sorbic acid had a conjugated system of double bonds which makes it susceptible to nucleophilic attack, sometimes giving mutagenic products.

Food labelled as containing E200 may actually contain potassium or calcium sorbate instead (E202 and E203 respectively).

E200 Sorbic Acid

                      E 201 Potassium Sorbate >>>