Sodium sorbate is the sodium salt of sorbic acid. Sorbic acid and its mineral salts, Sodium sorbate (201), Potassium sorbate (202) and Calcium sorbate (203) are naturally derived from the berries of the Mountain-ash tree (Sorbus aucuparia). They are commercially produced in varying chemical pathways to produce a white crystalline powder that is used as a preservative to inhibit the growth of moulds, yeasts and fungi. It is not effective against bacteria. Its optimal pH values are below 6.5. The main differences between the salts are their varying solubility in water, and they are preferred over Sorbic acid itself. This is why some salts are used in different products, especially Calcium sorbate used mainly in dairy products and rye bread. May cause behavioral problems and can be linked to asthma and kidney and liver problems.
Potassium sorbate is produced industrially by neutralizing sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide. The precursor sorbic acid is produced in a two-step process via the condensation of crotonaldehyde and ketene.
Sodium Sorbate is an antimicrobial agent. Sodium Sorbate is often used as a preservative in food and drinks to prevent the growth of mold, yeast and fungi.It is used in the same range of products as sorbic acid, including wine, dairy products