What Is Potassium Sorbate E202?

What is Potassium sorbate E202?

Potassium sorbate E202 is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, chemical formula CH3CH=CH−CH=CH−CO2K, a white crystalline powder or granular or pellets.

Potassium sorbate is a FDA approved preservative used in food to extend the shelf life of food, it is also effective in other uses such as in wine and personal care products.


E number: E202

Common name of Potassium Sorbate: food additive 202, preservative e202, food preservative 202, k sorbate

Molecular formula: C6H7KO2

CAS Number: 24634-61-5

Molecular weight: 150.22 g·mol−1

Manufacturing process: Potassium sorbate E202 is manufactured by sorbic acid and either potassium carbonate or potassium hydroxide.

What is Sorbate?

Calcium sorbate, Sodium sorbate and Potassium sorbate are in the category of sorbates. Potassium sorbate E202 are widely used compared with other two sorbates in food. If you see potassium sorbate in food ingredient list, it is used to extend the shelf life. this preservative is labelled as “potassium sorbate” or E202 on the ingredient statement. You’ll find sorbates in food such as baking food, wine, yogurt, beer, Cheese, margarines and also in cosmetics such like skin care products and shampoo.

Potassium sorbate E202 Function

The main function of Potassium sorbate E202 is to inhibit the growth of mold, yeast, and microbes, in turn increasing shelf life of food products.

Potassium sorbate E202 can effectively inhibit the activity of mold, yeast and aerobic bacteria which can be found in foods, such as cheese, wine, yogurt, dried meats, soft drinks & fruit drinks, canned fruits and vegetables and baked food, but can also prevent the growth and reproduction of harmful microorganisms such as Botox, Staphylococcus and Salmonella.

However, Potassium sorbate E202 is almost ineffective to the anaerobic Bacillus and acidophilic Lactobacillus and other beneficial microorganisms. The inhibition of development is stronger than the bactericidal effect, so can effectively extend the shelf life of food, and maintain the flavor of the original food. The preservative effect 5-10 times to another food preservative Sodium Benzoate. Some food manufacturers use Potassium sorbate E202 to replace Sodium Benzoate or Parabens.


Potassium sorbate E202 solubility

Solubility in water 58.5 g/100 mL (100 °C), Soluble in ethanol, propylene glycol; Slightly soluble in acetone; Very slightly soluble in chloroform, corn oil, ether; Insoluble in benzene.

Potassium sorbate E202 PH

Potassium sorbate E202 forms sorbate when dissolved in water and is the most widely used food grade preservative. It is effective up to pH 6.5, but is more effective as the pH decreases and becomes more acidic. It is used in the food industry from 0.025 to 0.10%. Can be used to increase the pH in formulations. If potassium sorbate is used as a preservative, the pH of the finished product may need to be reduced for potassium sorbate to be effective.

Potassium sorbate is not a broad spectrum preservative for food use. Food products better undergo microbial testing to ensure the efficacy of any preservative system.