Sorbic Acid

sorbic acidSorbic acid was discovered in 1859 by A.W. von Hofmann when he isolated the compound from a European rowan tree.  Hoffman converted the acid using hydrolysis and it was later used to inhibit c.botulinum in meat. The ingredient which is commonly found in food is an organic compound. Used as a preservative, Sorbic acid is colorless and water soluble. The ingredient was named after the rowan tree known as the Sorbus aucuparia. The acid is naturally occurring within the fruit of the Sorbus aucuparia. Today, the carboxylic acid is found in foods and personal care products.

As a preservative, Sorbic acid stops the growth of fungi, mold, and yeast however, it is not an anti-bacterial. It may be found in juices, breads, wines, and cheese. Preservatives help to keep skin care products safe for use and they may either occur organically or be synthetically made. They help to maintain balance within a product, ensuring that the contents are free from microorganisms that may cause illness.

Sorbic acid is used in cosmetics to prevent the growth of microorganisms while maintaining the product’s shelf-life. The ingredient is a crystalline powder that can be synthesized using a number of methods.  The potassium salt of Sorbic acid is Potassium Sorbate.The ingredient is also used as a preservative and is water soluble.