Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sorbic Acid

A white crystalline carboxylic acid used as a preservative.


Sorbic acid was first made by the hydrolysis of oil distilled from unripe mountain-ash berries in 1859.


Sorbic acid, C6H8O2 (E200), is an effective inhibitor of the growth of most moulds, yeasts and many bacteria. It is widely employed in beverage, dairy and other food applications to prevent microbiological growth and extend the normal shelf life of the product. It is easy to handle and easy to incorporate in formulations.


Sorbic Acid is considered a moderate hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database, which notes concerns regarding cancer, allergic reactions, organ system toxicity, and irritation. In one or more in vitro tests, mammalian cells showed positive mutation results, and one or more animal studies showed skin irritation at very low doses; there is strong evidence that it is a human skin toxicant.

However, other studies published by the CIR found Sorbic Acid to be practically nontoxic in acute oral toxicity studies, and no significant adverse effects were observed when 10% Sorbic Acid was included in the diet. "Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate, at concentrations up to 10%, were practically nonirritating to the eye. Both ingredients at concentrations up to 10% were at most only slightly irritating to skin" (



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