Potassium Sorbate

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Potassium Sorbate

Potassium Sorbate, a potassium salt of sorbic acid is a useful, effective ingredient that helps prevent food spoilage from bacteria, fungi, molds and yeast. 

It was first discoverd as sorbic acid and derived from the Mountain Ash Tree (sorbus amercanus). It is a Naturally occuring," unsaturated fatty acid , and is "completely safe with regard to health. According to many sources Potassium Sorbate, has the lowest potential for allergies in food" as well, when used as a food preservative.

Potassium Sorbate is known as one of the most widely used preservatives in the world.

Potassium sorbate has just at 74% of the antimicrobial activity of the sorbic acid.

It is very effective against yeasts, molds, and select bacteria, and is widely used at 0.025 to 0.10 % levels in many food and beverage products as well as personal care products like lotions and creams.

In wine processing, sorbates are used to prevent refermentation. Maximum level allowable by law is 0.1% (check this yourself please). The addition of sodium benzoate and/or potassium sorbate to a food product will raise the pH by approximately 0.1 to 0.5 pH units depending on the amount, pH, and type of product. Additional adjustment of the pH might be needed to keep the pH at a safe level.

In some products, sorbate and benzoate are used together to provide greater protection against a wider variety of microorganisms. (Click here for Sodium Benzoate) This only makes sense if the pH of the product is below 4.5. If you need citric acid to lower the pH click here

When using any preservative, it's use must be declared in the list of ingredients on the label, along with a short explanation of intended use, such as "preservative," "mold inhibitor," or "to retard spoilage," etc.

Always dissolve the potassium sorbate in to your water phase at the beginning of the formulation, to ensure proper distribution within your product.

At proper usage level this is the most effective and cost effective preservative. It is often used in foods like cheeses, meats, yogurt, and wine, little or no noticeable flavor at proper usage rate.

It is also used often in personal care products like creams, lotions, sunscreen, and makeup.

Many sources cite that Potassum Sorbate is typically used at a rate of from 0.5 - 1.0% depending on the application. It is effective up to pH 6.5. The effectiveness increases as the pH decreases. research your particular usage to determine correct amount to insure desired efficacy.

Product Code, INCI Name and CAS No.

  • INCI Name: Potassium Sorbate
  • CAS no: 590-00-01
  • EINECS no.: 246-376-1


  • Appearance: White Spherical Granules
  • Odor: Odorless
  • pH of Solution: 8 to 11
  • Molecular Weight: 150.22
  • Solubility: Highly Soluble in Water

Use in Cosmetics and Soap Making

Commonly used in anti-aging creams, body wash, conditioners, exfoliant scrubs, shampoos, shower gels, preservatives, facial cleansers and much more


Keep in a cool (preferably below 85°F, the cooler the better), dark and dry store-room.

Shelf Life

Under optimal storage conditions, in original unopened drums/containers, minimum two years.

Safety Data Sheet

Certificate of Analysis

Technical Data Sheet