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Potassium sorbate is the potassium (inactive) salt of sorbic acid. It is a mild, water-soluble preservative that is widely regarded as safe (GRAS) around the world. It has an off-white crystalline powder appearance with granular/pellet needles that are approximately 5mm in length and a particle size of 20-40 mesh. It dissolves easily in water and transforms to sorbic acid, which is the active form.
Sorbic acid is very pH-dependent which refers to a solution's acidity or alkalinity. Sorbic acid is active up to pH 6 (roughly 6%), but it is most active at pH 4.4 (70%). Its efficacy will be reduced if the pH level rises above 6.0. Because of the importance of pH, we recommend that it will be best to verify the pH of your finished product before using it. Also, as an unsaturated fatty acid, sorbic acid is susceptible to oxidation, (use of an antioxidant is recommended). It is also UV-sensitive, and in solution, it can turn yellow.
Potassium sorbate is widely used in skincare, cosmetics, and body care formulations to help prolong product shelf life and ensure a more stable formulation by inhibiting yeast, fungi, and mould formation. While being a great alternative to parabens, it is however, unable to combat bacteria. Since it is not known as a broad spectrum it should therefore be used in combination with other preservatives to ensure that products are fully protected.
COMMON USES OF POTASSIUM SORBATE
- Body Butter
- Clay Masks