In a world full of preservatives, sorbic acid stands out! Its unique characteristics, intriguing history, and delightful tangy taste make it a wonder. A widely used preservative, frequently referred to as the "life-saving preservative!"
If you look at the ingredient list before you get lost in the delicious taste of your favourite potato chip, you'll notice the name. Every day we see across topics like cane sugar vs. stevia, but today we look at something more intriguing.
What exactly is sorbic acid, and why is this loved? Read up!
The tangy preservative - Sorbic acid
The sorbic acid journey begins with nature itself. It comes from berries, specifically the mountain ash berries. This acid is perfect for keeping your food fresh, healthy-looking and safe.
It does this by combating mould growth, which degrades food and causes the spread of deadly diseases. It is so good at this job that when sprinkled on the surface of country ham, for as long as 30 days, there will be no mould growth.
Sorbic acid is suitable for not just the food industry but also the wines and cosmetics industry. This makes it possible for foods to be shipped and enjoyed all across the globe.
How sorbic acid became a well-known preservative
The history of sorbic acid dates back to the twentieth century. When salting, smoking, pickling, and other traditional procedures were the only means to keep food safe. Food scientists craved better ways to make the food last longer without altering the taste.
Then came sorbic acid, a light bulb in the 1940s. This compound could inhibit the growth of moulds, yeasts, and bacteria. It could be applied to food in two ways. Either by dipping it in a solution of sorbic acid and water or spraying.
Since that grand entrance into the world of food production, sorbic acid has remained a vital tool in the food industry. Just like exploring the world of sugar-free led to tons of new products, seeking better ways of preservation birthed sorbic acid.
Foods containing sorbic acid
Sorbic acid isn't just confined to potato chips, as believed. They can be found in a variety of products. Some of them include;
- Baked products
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Chilled meat
- A few medications
- Maraschino cherries
Legends have it that it was first used to combat one of the most lethal poisons known to man. Which is where the title life-saving preservative came from.
Is sorbic acid safe?
Sorbic acid is a favoured preservative, especially when compared to nitrates, which leave unhealthy byproducts that could result in cancer. Like all Chewwies products, sorbic acid is safe for use because it has not been related to cancer or other severe health issues.
Allergies are uncommon and usually mild when they happen. However, exposure to pure sorbic acid may pose certain dangers. Hence, moderation is always advised especially for skin products.
The bottom line
From its berry origins to its crucial role in our food supply.
Sorbic acid plays a critical role when it comes to storing and carrying food over vast distances.
In the world of food preservation, sorbic acid may not wear a cape, but it's undoubtedly a hero. It fends off the forces of spoilage, ensuring our snacks are always ready for a Netflix binge or a picnic in the park.
So, next time you munch on those potato chips, you can appreciate the tangy tale of sorbic acid and its role in keeping your snacks fresh and tasty.