Potassium sorbate, the potassium salt of sorbic acid, is a white odorless and tasteless salt that is very soluble in water. Potassium sorbate is an antimicrobial preservative. It exhibits both antibacterial and antifungal properties used in pharmaceuticals, foods, enteral preparations and cosmetics.

While sorbic acid occurs naturally in rowan and hippophae berries, virtually all of the world’s supply of sorbic acid, from which potassium sorbate is derived, is manufactured synthetically. Potassium sorbate is produced industrially by neutralizing sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide.

SynonymsSorbic acid potassium salt
Potassium 2,4-hexadienoate
(2E,4E)-2,4-Hexadienoic acid potassium salt
CAS no.590-00-1
EINECS no.246-376-1
Molecular formulaC6H7KO2
Molecular weight150.2
Potassium sorbate is widely used in a number of foods as a preservative in beverages (fruit juices, wine and cider), cheese, baked goods, mayonnaise-based products, nuts, olives, syrups, jellies and jams.
It is used as a bacteriostatic and preservative in meat, products based on fish and eggs, cooked shrimps, sausage casings and flavored dairy products.
As a preservative, it is also used for dehydrated foods like jerky and dried fruit, as it does not leave an after taste.
One of its properties is that it is used as an anti-microbial agent that can stop the growth and spread of harmful bacteria, mold and yeast.
Its activity increases as pH of the product decreases due to the formation of undissociated acid.
It increases the shelf life of foods, so many dietary supplements also include it.
It is commonly used in as wine stabilizer and is added to a finished wine before bottling to reduce the possibility of re-fermentation by yeast as it is a yeast growth inhibitor; it will not stop a fermentation that is in progress, but it will stop a fermentation from re-starting.


DescriptionWhite or almost white powder or granules.
SolubilityVery soluble in water, slightly soluble in ethanol (96%).
– Test B
– Test D

Complies by IR
Positive for Potassium
Appearance of solutionAs per BP
Acidity or alkalinityMeets BP
AldehydesMax. 0.15% expressed as C2H4O
Loss on drying (105 ºC for 3 hours)%Max 1.0
Assay%99.0 – 101.0

25 kg HDPE drum.

Store in a cool, dry, well- ventilated area away from incompatible substances, in a tightly closed container.

REACH Status
Not applicable.

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