With the steady growth of the global population, increased production of agricultural products has become essential to ensure adequate food supply. This has led to a corresponding increase in the demand for food preservatives. In the 1940’s, Sorbates were found to be effective antimicrobial agents and have since then been used as preservatives in a wide range of foodstuffs and drinks.

From 1970 to 1996, six companies produced nearly all Sorbates sold worldwide. However, a number of these left the Sorbate industry in the late 1990’s. Those that remained moved their operations to China, attracted by its relaxed regulatory regime and lower cost of production as a result of cheaper energy costs and lower wages.

There are two main types of Sorbate-based food preservatives: Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate. Each of these types of food preservatives plays a different role in the food processing industry.

Global Demand and Supply of Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate

Global demand for Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate has increased as a result of the increase in the world’s population and higher demand for food. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global population increased by over 74.8 per cent. between 1970 and 2005, and is expected to reach 8.3 billion by 2030. With the steady growth of the global population, increased production of food products is essential to ensure adequate food supply. The continuous increase in food production has significantly increased the importance of, and demand for, food preservatives.

Benzoic Acid and Sorbic Acid are two common, FDA-approved antimicrobial compounds available for food use. However, Benzoic Acid has been found to cause hyperactivity in children and is thought to be potentially damaging to mitochondrial DNA. At least one major food manufacturer has begun to phase out the use of Sodium Benzoate (the sodium salt of Benzoic Acid) in January 2008 in response to consumer demands.

In order to be widely used in food and pharmaceutical processing and production, the Company’s products conform to American Food Chemicals Code V (F.C.C.V). British Pharmacopoeia (B.P.). European Pharmacopoeia standard (EP5.0). and European Feed Additives and PreMixtures Quality System (FAMI-QS).

Increased household income and rapid urbanization in China has also led to continued growth in the domestic consumption of meat, dairy and other high-protein products as well as the use of modern household products. The production of these food and household products often requires high volumes of preservatives, thereby increasing the demand for both Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate.

Last updated 06 Aug 2014