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Potassium Sorbate

What is it?

Sorbic Acid is a white, free-flowing, crystalline powder. Potassium Sorbate, the potassium salt of Sorbic Acid, occurs as a white crystalline powder, white granules, or pellets. In cosmetics and personal care products, Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate are used primarily in the formulation of facial and eye makeup and skin care and hair products.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate and determined that they were Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as preservatives for direct addition to food.

Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate are effective for the control of mold and yeast in cheese products, baked goods, fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, wines, soft drinks, pickles, sauerkraut, and certain fish and meat products.

The safety of Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. In 2006, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on these ingredients and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
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Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate kill microorganisms, or prevent or retard their growth and reproduction, and thus protect cosmetics and personal care products from spoilage.

Follow this link for more information about how preservatives protect cosmetics and personal care products.

Scientific facts:

Sorbic Acid occurs naturally as para-sorbic acid in berries of the mountain ash tree, Sorbus aucuparia, Rosaceae. It can also be synthesized by various processes. Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate have a broad spectrum of fungistatic activity but are less active against bacteria. Optimum antimicrobial activity is attained at pH values up to 6.5.

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