What is Potassium Acetate E261i? Uses, Safe, Side Effects

What is Potassium Acetate E261i? Uses, Safe, Side Effects


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Potassium acetate is one of the few substances in existence that can be found in almost all living things. Potassium Acetate E numbers are used for food, medicine and for manufacturing uranium. Potassium acetate is a salt form of acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid or vinegar. It is made from acetic acid and potassium hydroxide and is also a solid compound with a melting point of around 120 to 320 degree F. Food grade potassium acetate can be obtained from baking powder or by manufacturing it in a lab.

What is potassium acetate?


The chemical formula for potassium acetate is CH3COONa. It is an ionic compound that consists of a cation and an anion. The name of the cation is potassium, which has the atomic number 19. The name of the anion is acetate, which has the molecular formula C2H3O2.

The chemical formula for potassium acetate can be written as CH3COONa. It is also known by other names such as potassium ethanoate, potassium ethanoic acid, potassium ethanoate (ester) and monohydrogen phosphate pentahydrate.

Potassium acetate can be found in many food items such as cheese, wine and potato chips. It can also be used in medicines to prevent hypokalemia or low levels of potassium in the blood.

How is Potassium Acetate made?


Potassium acetate is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in water, but not in acids or alcohols. It is produced by the neutralization of acetic acid with potassium hydroxide or potassium carbonate solution.

2CH3CO2H + KOH → 2CH3COONa + H2O

This reaction takes place at high temperatures (150–160 °C) and pressures (1–1.5 bar), yielding a solid product that can be filtered and dried at 100 °C.

Potassium acetate is used as a food preservative and additive. It is also used in the processing of other chemicals, such as acetic anhydride and vinyl acetate monomer. Potassium acetate is also used in the manufacturing of rayon fiber and cellulose acetate fibers, which are used in cigarette filters and photographic film emulsions.



Deliquescent powder or granular with a faint acidic odor. Potassium acetate is a strong conjugate base of acetic acid. Upon dissolving in water, acetic acid (CH3COOH) and KOH are formed when CH3COO- ions react with water, K+ reacts with OH-, and CH3COO- ions combine with H+.

Other namesK acetate
CAS number127-08-2
Chemical formulaC2H3O2K
Molecular weight98.14
PHA week alkalinity, with PH 7.5-9.0 (5% aqueous solution)
Solubilityvery soluble in water and freely soluble in ethanol.

What are the Uses of Potassium Acetate?




The following are its main uses in food:

  • A buffering agent used to adjust the acidity of food.
  • A flavoring agent that imparts a vinegar taste to potato chips, potato salads, and other snacks.
  • A preservative to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria on meat products and extend their shelf life.
  • It is a potassium supplement.

In addition, the food grade can also be used as an alternative to sodium acetate and sodium diacetate in low sodium food products since it is sodium-free. Due to the potassium in it, it may have a slight “metallic” taste.



Acetate of potassium is one of the synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants that may be safely used in food but is not on the GRAS list.



In the European Union (EU), potassium acetate (E261) is an authorised food additive, and most of its uses have been approved since 2013. Calcium acetate has the same uses as potassium acetate.

  • Fruits and vegetables canned or bottled
  • Bread
  • Prepacked meat
  • Food products based on cereals or baby foods, only processed to adjust the pH



Functional Class: food additives, acidity regulator, preservative.

In 1973, the acceptable daily intake was not restricted.

Medical uses

  • Potassium chloride substitute used to treat hypokalemia caused by potassium deficiency.
  • Used for the production of insulin for diabetes treatment.
  • In ethanol precipitation of DNA, the same function as sodium acetate.
  • When combined with formaldehyde, it is used to preserve and fix biological tissues.



The product can replace calcium chloride and magnesium chloride for deicing airport runways as an effective ice and snow melting agent, but it is more expensive.

Fire extinguishing agent


Combined with potassium citrate, it can be used to extinguish fires caused by cooking oils and grease in Class K fire extinguishers. Further, it can create a barrier between the fire source and oxygen.

Is potassium acetate kch3coo an acidic or basic salt and why?


Potassium acetate is a weak base. It is a salt of the carboxylic acid group (-CO2H) and the alkali metal cation (K). The carboxyl group is a strong acid, so it can be deprotonated by strong bases like sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) to give the salts KOC-CH3 and KOCH3 respectively. The plus one charge on these ions makes them strong bases and able to accept protons from other compounds, like water. Potassium acetate can accept two protons from water to form its conjugate acid:


The conjugate base of this reaction is also known as acetic acid, which is not a strong acid but still weaker than acetic acid itself. Thus potassium acetate forms a weakly basic solution in water with a pH between 6 and 8 depending on how much hydrochloric or sulfuric acid was added during preparation.

Is potassium acetate molecular or ionic?


As a salt, potassium acetate has a positive charge on one side and a negative charge on the other.

In chemistry, the term “molecular” refers to any substance that exists as molecules. In other words, any substance that can exist as its own molecule.

The term “ionic” refers to any substance that has ions or charged particles in its structure. In other words: it’s either positively or negatively charged (or both).

So what does this mean for potassium acetate? It means that potassium acetate is neither molecular nor ionic! It’s neutral, which means it doesn’t have an overall charge on either side of its molecules.

Is potassium acetate bad for you?


Potassium acetate is a salt of acetic acid and potassium. It’s used as an antacid, which is used to treat indigestion. It can also be used as a preservative in food and cosmetics.

Potassium acetate has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as an antacid, but it hasn’t been approved for any other use. The FDA warns against using this drug if you have kidney disease or high blood pressure because there isn’t enough information about how it will affect these conditions.

Potassium acetate is not a harmful chemical and is generally considered to be safe in the doses at which it is used. However, as with all chemicals, there are some side effects that can occur if you ingest too much.

Potassium acetate side effects


The most common side effect of potassium acetate is diarrhea or loose stools. This can be treated with an over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication such as Immodium. Other possible side effects are nausea, vomiting and stomach pain; these are usually mild and will go away once the drug has been eliminated from your system.

It’s also important to note that potassium acetate may interact negatively with other medications you’re taking or supplements you’re taking as part of your diet so it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you have any other medical conditions or if you’re taking any other medicines that might interact with potassium acetate.

Does potassium acetate expire?


No, potassium acetate does not expire. Potassium acetate is a sterile solution that contains the active ingredient potassium chloride and the inactive ingredients sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, water for injection and sodium hydroxide solution. Potassium acetate is used to control blood acidity in people who have kidney problems or who have had heart attack or stroke. Potassium acetate is also used as an electrolyte replenisher during intravenous feedings of fluids. The shelf life of potassium acetate is five years from the date of manufacture.

Is potassium acetate soluble?


Potassium acetate is soluble in water and can be used as a salt substitute. It is often used in baking, cooking and as a preservative. Potassium acetate is also used to help neutralize the pH levels in some foods, such as pickles and sauerkraut.

Potassium acetate has a melting point of around 244 degrees Fahrenheit (118 degrees Celsius) and a boiling point of about 464 degrees Fahrenheit (240 degrees Celsius). It also has an odorless taste when consumed in small amounts.

Although potassium acetate is not considered toxic, it can cause some side effects if consumed in large doses. These include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Large doses of potassium acetate can also cause severe diarrhea or dehydration, which could be life threatening.

While potassium acetate itself is not dangerous, there are some concerns that it could be combined with other chemicals to create an explosive mixture if ingested orally or inhaled through the lungs.

Factors affecting the shelf life of potassium acetate?


A number of factors can affect the shelf life of potassium acetate. If you’re using the medication for a serious condition, such as cancer, it’s important to know if it will expire before your treatment is complete. The following are some factors that may affect the expiration date:

The amount of time the drug has been stored in a prescription bottle or other container.

The amount of time the drug has been kept in storage before being used (for example, at a pharmacy).

The temperature at which the drug is stored during this time period.

To avoid unnecessary waste and prevent harm to patients, pharmacists and doctors should always check their supplies before dispensing any medication from their stores — especially when using drugs that have a short shelf life.



Potassium Acetate is a white powder, produced by combining an inorganic acetate salt and potassium cations. This combination is achieved through the process of neutralization. For its usage in the Food industry, Potassium Acetate is predominantly used as a flavoring agent and preservative in various food products. It helps reduce the fermentation of liquid food like carbonated drinks, pickles, and sliced bread. It can also be used to add taste to dry food products like chocolates or cereals based on cornflakes. In addition, it acts as an antibacterial agent to maintain the quality of food under stressful conditions.

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng is the author of gradechemical.com, she is the co-founder of the grade chemical network. She has been in grade chemical company since 2017, with a working knowledge of food chemical .

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