How to Preserve Food With Sorbic Acid

Protect Toxin Produced by Microorganisms

Foodstuffs can be produced, processed or prepared in the home on a small scale. This is only possible if the requirements of the modern consumer can be met - that the foods will keep safe for a sufficient length of time. Most food is only available fresh for a relatively short period but we want to enjoy them throughout the year. This therefore is a good enough reason why we need to preserve food.

Food must be preserved not only to prevent losses but also to protect them from toxin which is produced by microorganisms and then transmitted to the food. The botulinus toxin is produced by clostridiae when meat products are stored in airtight containers. The botulinus toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known today. One part per millionth of a gramme is enough to kill you. If the bacteria forming botulinus toxin is prevented, no toxin will be produced and the meat can be safely preserved and stored in airtight containers.

Sorbic Acid

Safest Preservative

Sorbic acid has an LD50 of 10g/kg body weight which make it the safest preservative known. In comparison, the common table salt has an LD50 of 5g/kg body weight and that is in addition that common table salt is added to food in greater quantities than Sorbic acid. In terms of chronic toxity, Sorbic acid is much more favourable than other preservatives. In rats, feeding of large quantities of Sorbic acid will have the effect of prolongation of the average lifespan of rats as they become more resistant to infections.

Aflatoxin is Highly Carcinogenic

Fungi can also produce mycotoxins. The most dangerous of mycotoxins is aflatoxin which occurs on moldy cereals, nuts and other moldy foods. Aflatoxin is extremely dangerous because it is highly carcinogenic.

To protect food from microbiological damage, you can either use physical methods of preservation or chemical preservatives methods of preservation. Physical methods include use of drying, heating like in pasteurization, cooling like in de-freezing, irradiation and sterile filtration.

Chemical preservatives involve use of chemicals like the common table salt. Chemical methods are cheaper than physical methods. Both physical and chemical methods will alter the aroma and flavor of food.

Sorbic Acid

Sorbic acid was discovered in 1859 by reacting rowanberry oil (from the juice of unripe rowanberry) with strong alkalis. Sorbic acid has antimicrobial effect. Alkali sorbates have good solubility in water. Potassium sorbate can be made into solutions of more than 50% in cold water. Potassium sorbate is the salt of Sorbic acid that is mainly used in food preservations. As an aliphatic carboxytic acid, Sorbic acid is utilized in human and animal bodies like any other fatty acid.


Safer Than Common Table Salt

Sorbic acid has an LD50 of 10g/kg body weight which make it the safest preservative known. In comparison, the common table salt has an LD50 of 5g/kg body weight and that is in addition that common table salt is added to food in greater quantities than Sorbic acid. In terms of chronic toxity, Sorbic acid is much more favourable than other preservatives. In rats, feeding of large quantities of Sorbic acid will have the effect of prolongation of the average lifespan of rats as they become more resistant to infections.

Sorbic acid is not carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic. The main action of Sorbic acid is to inhibit the growth of fungi and yeasts - it acts against bacteria. The maximum quantity of Sorbic acid permissible is 0.2 percent relative to the food to be preserved. Use Sorbic acid to preserve cheese, margarine, butter, mayonnaise, tomato juice, etc., etc. Use Sorbic acid with small quantities of sulfur dioxide and or pasteurization to preserve fruit juices and marmalades. Use Sorbic acid to remove cloudiness in wines.

Sorbic acid is approved in almost all countries including USA.

If you have liked this article, and you would want this page to
keep up and improved, you can help by purchasing some great items from Amazon
by following Amazon links and widgets on this page, if you will. A free way to
help would be to link back to this webpage from your web page, blog, or
discussion forums.
 
The Author’s page is designed to help beginners and average
readers make some money as an extra income to supplement what they may be earning
elsewhere - details of which you can find in My Page..

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

Charlotte Anne profile image

Charlotte Anne 7 years ago from Iowa, USA

Very interesting.


Shailesh Shah, IND 5 years ago

Pls. inform what is a ratio of Potassium Sorbate used per KG of Product to preserve Milk based sweets for long time. Thank you.


Makafui Segbawu 4 years ago

Pls. inform what is a ratio of Potassium Sorbate used per KG of Product to preserve Milk based sweets for long time. Thank you.


ngureco profile image

ngureco 4 years ago Author

The maximum quantity of Sorbic acid permissible is 0.2 percent relative to the food to be preserved. Test with 200 ppm (0.02%).

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working