E200 – Sorbic acid

What is the food additive E 200 ?

E200, also known as sorbic acid is a food additive widely used across various industries. Its applications range from food preservation and use in nutritional supplements to large-scale industrial uses.

E200, sorbic acid, has the chemical formula CH₃(CH)₄CO₂H. It is water-soluble and naturally is found in the fruits of the shrub Sorbus aucupari.  Sorbic acid appears as a white to slightly yellow crystalline powder. It is a good preservative, particularly against molds and yeasts, but it is not effective against bacteria. It has optimal activity at a pH below 6.5 (acidic and slightly acidic products).

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What is the recommended daily dose ?

E200 is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used in accordance with good manufacturing practices. However, excessive intake of sorbic acid can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea and stomach cramps.

It is important to adhere to the recommended daily dose to avoid adverse effects.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set a maximum daily dose of 25 mg/kg body weight.

In which products can the E 200 – Sorbic Acid be found ?

Food Industry

Preservative: One of the primary uses of E200 in the food industry is as a preservative. Its antioxidant properties help extend the shelf life of foods by preventing oxidation, which can lead to spoilage. For example, it is often used in the processed meat industry, fruit juices, and canned vegetables to maintain color and freshness.

Baking: In the baking industry, sorbic acid is used to strengthen dough, improving the volume and texture of baked goods. It is particularly valuable in bread production as it enhances dough elasticity and the fermentation process.

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Industrial Applications

Sorbic acid is also used in cleaning agents due to its ability to remove stains and enhance the effectiveness of cleaning products. Its acidic nature helps dissolve stains.

In conclusion, E200, or sorbic acid, is a food additive with extensive applications in food preservation, nutrition, and beyond.

Its beneficial properties, including antioxidant and nutritional functions, make it a valuable component in many products. Although it is safe for general use, careful consumption is necessary to avoid potential health risks associated with excessive intake of E200.

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https://www.efsa.europa.eu/ – The European Food Safety Authority

Author – Cosmina Nițu

Master in Nutrition – Infant and new born nutrition

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