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Preservatives are substances that are added to products such as food, beverages and many other products to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes.

E200 Sorbic Acid 

E201 Sodium Sorbate

E202 Potassium Sorbate

E203 Calcium Sorbate

Sorbic acid and sorbates are used mainly against fungi and yeast, being not effective against bacteria. Optimal activity is at pH values below 6.5. Sodium and potassium sorbate are often used, due to their better solubuility. Calcium sorbate is used in dairy products.

E210 Benzoic Acid 

E211 Sodium Benzoate 

E212 Potassium Benzoate 

E213 Calcium Benzoate

Benzoic acid and benzoates are used as preservatives against yeast and fungi and as bacteriostatic agent in acidic products with a pH under 5. High concentrations result in a sour taste, which limits their application. Benzoates are often preferred to the acid, because of their better solubility. 

E221 Sodium Sulphite 

E223 Sodium Metabisulphite 

E224 Potassium Metabisulphite

E225 Potassium Sulphite

E226 Calcium Sulphite

Sulphites are used as preservatives as well as oxidising and bleaching agents to prevent fermentation, spoilage and discoloration in wine, dried fruits and potatoes. They are also used as bread enhancer, by improving kneading capacity. Potassium sulphite is used specifically as bleaching agent in sugar production and for the production of sulphitecaramel (E150d). Calcium sulphite is used in canned vegetables to increase the firmness.