Web Results
Content Results
  • Potassium sorbate


    Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, chemical formula CH3CH=CH−CH=CH−CO2K. It is a white salt that is very soluble in water (58.2% at 20 °C). It is primarily used as a food preservative (E number 202). Potassium sorbate is effective in a variety of applications including food, wine, and personal-care products. While sorbic acid is naturally occurring in some berries, virtually all of the world's production of sorbic acid, from which potassium sorbate is derived, is manufactured synthetically.

  • Potassium metabisulfite


    Potassium metabisulfite, K2S2O5, also known as potassium pyrosulfite, is a white crystalline powder with a pungent sulfur odour. The main use for the chemical is as an antioxidant or chemical sterilant. It is a disulfite and is chemically very similar to sodium metabisulfite, with which it is sometimes used interchangeably. Potassium metabisulfite is generally preferred out of the two as it does not contribute sodium to the diet. Potassium metabisulfite has a monoclinic crystal structure which decomposes at 190 °C, yielding potassium sulfite and sulfur dioxide: K2S2O5(s) → K2SO3(s) + SO2(g)

  • Potassium in biology


    Potassium is an essential mineral micronutrient and is the main intracellular ion for all types of cells, while having a major role in maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance. Potassium is necessary for the function of all living cells, and is thus present in all plant and animal tissues. It is found in especially high concentrations within plant cells, and in a mixed diet, it is most highly concentrated in fruits. The high concentration of potassium in plants, associated with comparatively very low amounts of sodium there, historically resulted in potassium first being isolated from the ashes of plants (potash), which in turn gave the element its modern name. The high concentration of potassium in plants means that heavy crop production rapidly depletes soils of potassium, and agricultural fertilizers consume 93% of the potassium chemical production of the modern world economy. The functions of potassium and sodium in living organisms are quite different. Animals, in particular, employ sodium and potassium differentially to generate electrical potentials in animal cells, especially in nervous tissue.

Map Box 1