E202 (Potassium sorbate) — the food additive which belongs to the class of preservatives. It represents the potassium salt of the sorbic acid on its chemical composition.
For the first time the sorbic acid was obtained from the mountain ash juice in 1859. In 1939 its antimicrobial action was discovered. And already in the middle of fifties the industrial production of sorbic acid and its use as preservative began.
The chemical formula of the additive E202: C6H7KO2. From the physical point of view — it is the granules or powder of white color. E202 preservative is the most soluble of sorbates. Solubility of a potassium sorbate makes 138 grams of substance in one liter of water under the ambient temperature. The additive E202 is natural preservative. Most often the potassium sorbate is extracted from ossicles of some plants. Also E202 preservative can be received by a synthetic way.
The Sorbic acid and its salt potassium sorbate in particular, are included in the list of the most popular preservatives, because of its safety for a human body. The maximum and admissible dose of substance makes 0,1–0,2% of ready-made product mass. The main application of Potassium sorbate as an additive E202 finds itself in production of cheeses and sausage products, owing to its feature to stop mycelial fungus growth. Also E202 preservative can be added in dough in production of rye bread for prevention the occurrence of the Cretaceous mold on the product. Because its neutral taste, sorbate of a potassium is applied as preservative in chocolate and confectionery, and also in conservation of vegetables and juice. Besides, the food additive E202 can be used as preservative in spicy and acidic sauces of east kitchen as is rather effective antimicrobial remedy at high values of acidity. Sorbate of potassium prevents formation the yeast and fungi in the data products.
When approving the sorbate of potassium as the food additive E202 the numerous researches were made which had shown that this additive could be considered harmless in doses not exceeding the maximum permissible norm. Sorbate of potassium can irritate the skin and the mucous membrane only at especially sensitive people. The allergenicity of substance is the smallest. The additive E202 makes neither cancerogenic, nor mutagen influence on organism and isn't teratogeny. The maximum permissible norm of E202 preservative in a finished product is established separately for each type of products and averages from 0,02 to 0,2%. The exact dosage for concrete type of products can be learned in normative documents.
Most often the food additive E202 can be found in the following types of products: margarine, mayonnaise, sausage products, smoked products, jams, juice, soft drinks, wine, sugar and flour confectionery.
The additive E202 is included in the list of the permitted additives in many countries of the world, including Russia and Ukraine.