Is a colorless salt manufacured from Sorbic Acid and Potassium Hydroxide.

Where does POTASSIUM SORBATE come from?

Potassium hydroxide, which predominantly comes from the ashes of wood,  is nuetralized with sorbic acid. It also occurs naturally in some fruit / berries.


To make Potassium hydroxide: Take wood ashes and leach the askes to make potassium carbonate. Heat the Potassium carbonate to release carbon dioxide gas leaving potassium oxide, add water to get Potassium hydroxide.

Making Sorbic Acid: It was first made by the hydrolysis of oil distilled from unripe mountain-ash berries in 1859. In 1900 the first synthesis was performed by Doebner. Sorbic acid was made from crotonaldehyde and malonic acid in pyridine. The yield was improved with use of malonic acid salts. One of the first commercial methods involves the reaction of ketene with crotonaldehyde in presence of BF3 in ether at 0°C. This lactone below is formed which then reacts with acid to give a 70% yield.

Nowadays, a few modifications have been made which include the use of catalysts such as zinc, cadmium, metal oxide, etc. These produce a condensation adduct. After removing the unreacted components and solvent the adduct is decomposed by in acidic media or pyrolysis. Proper operation of acidic decomposition can give high yields of the trans,trans isomer of sorbic acid, whereas the pyrolysis gives a mixture of isomers. The isomeric mixture can be converted to the thermodynamically more stable trans,trans form in the presence of iodine, alkali or sulfuric or hydrochloric acid.

More information about POTASSIUM SORBATE.

Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit molds and yeasts in many foods. Most home wine makers use it to stop fermentation in their wines. It can also be found in the ingredients list of many dried fruit products. In addition, herbal dietary supplement products generally contain potassium sorbate, which acts to prevent mold and microbes and to increase shelf life, and is used in quantities at which there are no known adverse health effects, over short periods of time. Labeling of this preservative on ingredient statements reads as "potassium sorbate". Also, it is used in many personal care products to inhibit the development of microorganisms for shelf stability.



  1. Heather
    Hi, if coca cola was originally formulated by a pharmacist using cocaine as the addictive ingredient, then are all these other poisonous concoctions directly/indirectly also formulated by the pharmaceutical barons? thanks

  2. Mary
    Can I eat products with potassium sorbate if on a low iodine diet?

  3. Mary
    Can I eat products with potassium sorbate if on a low iodine diet?