Dangers and Side Effects of Potassium Sorbate 

A popular additive in food, wine and personal care products, Potassium sorbate may not be as good for our health as was originally believed. To learn more about this additive and the possible dangers of its use, continue reading.

Potassium sorbate is used to extend the shelf life of foods, as it will stop the production of mold and yeast in products such as cheese, apple cider, dried meats and yogurt. It is fully digestible and is colorless, tasteless and odorless. It is used as an alternative to sulfur dioxide, which has an unfavorable aftertaste.

This additive is added to wines to prevent yeast from fermenting once the wine has been bottled. It stops the fermentation process, which in turn will stop yeast from growing in the bottle.


Essentially potassium sorbate is not toxic and believed to be safe to use. Some experts do feel that the synthetic attribute does pose dangers to our health. Extended use of this additive can cause allergic reactions, diarrhea and nausea and may cause food to lose essential nutrients. When used in personal care products, this additive can cause irritation to the eyes and the skin. It should be used with caution.

Preventing Side Effects

If you bottle your own wine, consider sterile filtering as an option to remove excess potassium sorbate. Additionally, you may choose to use yeast instead since it has a low tolerance to the alcohol. When buying fruit juice in the store, purchase fresh, organic juice that has not been bottled with this additive. Also, limit the number of canned goods you consume to avoid any potential for side effects.

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