Sorbic acid, aka 2, 4-hexadienoic acid, is a naturally occurring organic compound, which is a colorless solid. Sorbic acid is derived from Sorbus aucuparia, which are basically unripe berries.
Sorbic acid is widely used as a food preservative and its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it highly effective for food preservation. Some of the uses for sorbic acid food preservative for food preservation are:
- wine ~ contains the fermentation of residual sugar & inhibits yeast growth
- fruits/vegetables ~ prolongs freshness by slowing down process of infection by molds
- seafood ~ extends shelf life of smoked & dried seafood by stopping mold & yeast growth
- dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese) ~ keeps the level of yeast in check & in required amount
- meat/poultry ~ lengthens refrigeration time by reducing number of bacteria & keeps meatmold free
Although food preservation with sorbic acid is not considered harmful in small amounts, it can cause a couple side effects, such as:
- allergic reaction
- increase toxic levels in organs
- may be linked to some forms of cancer
- cause complications during pregnancy & lactation for mother & child
Essentially, sorbic acid is used as a food preservative in many foods you might consume in your daily diet.