What is Sodium Ferrocyanide E535? Uses, Safe, Side Effects

What is Sodium Ferrocyanide E535? Uses, Safe, Side Effects


Table of Contents

Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride, NaCl also known as halite with minor calcium and magnesium additives. Its chemical formula is NaCl (sodium + chlorine). Because of its high melting temperature of 801 degrees celsius, many salts are prepared by the evaporation of solutions. The mineral was known to the ancient Chinese and Indians, who thought it was antimony. 

It has been mined extensively since prehistoric times and its extraction has proved profitable for thousands of years, given its importance in human diet, medicine, industry and building materials. Though table use of salt is typically associated with sodium chloride, other forms such as sodium ferrocyanide exist as well.

What is sodium ferrocyanide?

Sodium ferrocyanide is a chemical compound that is used as a food additive. It is used to add color and flavor to foods, and it is also used as an anti-caking agent or an anticaking agent.

Sodium ferrocyanide has the chemical formula Na4Fe(CN)6. It is an inorganic salt that contains both sodium ions (Na+) and iron ions (Fe2+). It is also known as sodium hexacyanoferrate(III), which means it has six cyanide ions attached to each iron atom in the molecule.

The structure of this compound consists of a cube of Fe centers with CN ligands around them. In solid form, there are four hexagonal faces around each Fe center with one CN ligand on each face. The CN ligands are nitrogen atoms connected by three covalent bonds, while the Fe centers have three bonds connecting them together into a triangle shape at each corner of the cube.

How is sodium ferrocyanide made?

Sodium ferrocyanide is a chemical compound of sodium, iron and cyanide. It is a white powder with the chemical formula NaFe(CN) 6 . Sodium ferrocyanide is used as a food additive, but can be toxic if consumed in large amounts.

Sodium ferrocyanide is made by combining sodium carbonate with iron sulfate in water and then adding potassium cyanide to produce the product. The reaction creates hydrogen cyanide gas, which is captured and condensed into liquid form.

The resulting solution can then be heated to remove excess water from the mixture. The solution is then cooled down until solid crystals form at room temperature. These crystals are collected and dried out in an oven until they reach a powder-like consistency again.


The yellow crystals or crystalline powder. A yellow color is caused by ferrocyanide anion ([Fe(CN)6]4-), iron is in its Fe2+ state.

Other names Sodium hexacyanoferrate, Tetrasodium hexacyanoferrate
CAS number 14434-22-1
Chemical formula Na4Fe(CN)6 · 10H2O
Molecular weight 484.1
Solubility Soluble in water, insoluble in ethanol

Why is sodium ferrocyanide used in table salts?

Sodium ferrocyanide is an additive used in table salt, breakfast cereals and other food products. It’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive and is considered safe for human consumption at its current levels of use.

Sodium ferrocyanide is used in small amounts to help keep the brittleness of the salt crystals from affecting flavor or texture. It’s added to enhance the brightness of the color of table salt, too, which makes it easy to spot when you’re seasoning food.

Table salt is made up of two elements: sodium chloride and iodine. Iodine adds a bitter taste to table salt but also helps prevent goiter, which is caused by a lack of iodine in your diet. The ratio of sodium chloride to iodine in table salt varies depending on where it’s manufactured, but it’s typically between 16 percent and 18 percent sodium chloride by weight with 0.02 percent to 0.04 percent iodine added as potassium iodide (sodium iodide).

Sodium ferrocyanide actually has no effect on flavor or color — only texture. When added in small amounts, it helps keep the brittleness of the salt crystals from affecting flavor or color.

Is sodium ferrocyanide safe to eat?

It’s considered safe for consumption by both humans and animals at levels below 20 parts per million (ppm). The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set its Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for sodium ferrocyanide at 1 ppm in drinking water. This means that drinking water companies are required to keep levels below 1 ppm when they test their own systems.

In addition to hydrogen cyanide gas, another compound formed when sodium ferrocyanide reacts with acids is acetonitrile — also known as methyl cyanide.


This substance is used as an uncaking agent in salt and as an adjuvant in dendritic crystallization at a maximum addition of 0.0013% expressed as sodium ferrocyanide anhydrous.
Additionally, it can be safely used in animal feed as an anticlumping agent.


According to Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012, sodium ferrocyanide (E535) is an authorised food additive and falls under the category of “additives other than colours and sweeteners”.
The ferrocyanides (potassium ferrocyanide, sodium ferrocyanide, and calcium ferrocyanide) can only be used as a salt or salt substitute at a maximum level of 20 mg/kg individually or in combination (calculated as potassium ferrocyanide anhydrous).

Safety re-evaluation in 2018

EFSA concluded no safety concerns in its 2018 safety re-evaluation report for sodium ferrocyanide at its current use and usage levels.

These are some key points to remember:

  • It has a low absorption rate in humans and no accumulation.
  • No genotoxicity and no carcinogenicity.
  • Based on the only kidney toxicity of ferrocyanide ion, an acceptable daily intake (ADI) was set at 0.03 mg/kg bw per day (expressed as ferrocyanide ion).


Function class: food additive and anticaking agent.

Acceptable daily intake: In 1974, the ADI was set at 0-0.025 mg/kg bw.

What is sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate?

Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate is a type of inorganic salt. It’s also known as sodium hexacyanoferrate(II) decahydrate or sodium hexacyanoferrate(II).

It’s a white powder that dissolves in water, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. It’s also soluble in acetone and chloroform.

You can use sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate as a food additive, an anti-caking agent, an antifungal agent, a metal-chelating agent and a stabilizer for proteins.

Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate has Applications in:

  • Foods and Beverages: Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate is used in foods such as breakfast cereals, candies and chewing gums to prevent caking and improve the flow properties of dry foods. It also acts as an antioxidant in certain foods like baked goods and preserves.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate is used as a tablet binder for pharmaceutical tablets or capsules because it doesn’t dissolve easily in water so it helps to keep tablets together during manufacturing processes.
  • Salt: Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate is used as an anticaking agent in the production of table salt. The anticaking agents help keep the table salt from clumping together into large lumps when exposed to humidity or moisture. They also make it easier for consumers to spread the salt on their food and to measure it accurately with measuring spoons or scoops. Some anticaking agents also help prevent caking in transport trucks and storage bins by absorbing moisture from the air and preventing it from reaching the product itself.
  • Animal Feed: Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate is also used as an anti-caking agent in animal feed products such as cattle feed pellets, poultry feed pellets and piglet feed pellets where it prevents caking during transportation or storage of these products before they reach the farm where they are fed to animals. This prevents animals from eating hay that has been contaminated by these pelletized feeds because they have been broken down into small lumps instead of being completely consumed by the animals.

How is ferrocyanide toxicity?

Ferrocyanide is a chemical compound used in photography and as a food additive. It can also be found in water treatment facilities and as an ingredient in some fertilizers and pesticides.

Ferrocyanide is a toxin that can cause serious health problems for humans if consumed at high levels. However, there are precautions you can take to prevent this from happening.

The average human body contains about 0.1 grams (0.0004 ounces) of iron and 0.2 grams (0.00007 ounces) of cyanide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These elements are needed for proper cell function but can cause serious harm if there is too much or too little of either element in your body.

There are different forms of this chemical compound — ferrous iron and ferric iron — that depend on how many electrons they have available for bonding with oxygen molecules. Ferrous iron is more common than ferric iron because it’s easier to get rid of; it binds easily with other materials like carbon monoxide and CO2 to form rusting compounds instead of binding with oxygen molecules like ferric does.

Is sodium ferrocyanide safe?

Sodium ferrocyanide is a white powder that is used in food production as a preservative or color stabilizer. It is also used to add color to some foods, such as cheese and chocolate. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that sodium ferrocyanide may cause cancer in animals when they consumed high doses over long periods of time. However, it is not known whether the same effects would occur in humans.

Sodium ferrocyanide is approved for use in the United States at levels up to 1% by weight in dry foods, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA established these limits based on an estimate of how much sodium ferrocyanide people might consume in their diet over time.

Although sodium ferrocyanide has been shown to cause cancer in animals, there is no evidence that it causes cancer in humans at levels below 1%. Therefore, it is unlikely that you would experience any health effects from consuming small amounts of sodium ferrocyanide on a daily basis.

What is sodium ferrocyanide formula?

Sodium ferrocyanide is a compound that is used as an additive to foods, in the treatment of drinking water, and as a fire retardant. It is also used in cosmetics and toothpaste to whiten teeth.

Sodium ferrocyanide is a chemical compound with the formula NaFe(CN)6. It is used as a food additive and has E number E535 (INS number 155). It is approved for use in the EU, USA and Australia/New Zealand.

Sodium ferrocyanide can be produced by treating solutions of sodium hydroxide with iron salts such as ferric chloride or potassium ferricyanide. The resulting precipitate is filtered off and dried. The compound can also be prepared by the electrolysis of solutions of iron salts in the presence of sodium hydroxide.

What is sodium ferrocyanide side effects?

Sodium ferrocyanide is a white powder. It dissolves easily in water. The chemical formula for sodium ferrocyanide is NaFe(CN)6, and its molecular weight is 250.9 g/mol.

Sodium ferrocyanide is a food additive used to add color to foods, especially baked goods. It also helps reduce the tendency of baked goods to brown too quickly when exposed to air. It’s added to products like cereal, candy, cake mixes and frostings, as well as some brands of canned tuna.

Sodium ferrocyanide side effects can vary depending on how much is consumed and whether there are other medications being taken at the same time that might interact negatively with sodium ferrocyanide. Some people may have no side effects at all from taking this medication while others may experience severe allergic reactions or even death from an overdose of sodium ferrocyanide.

Difference between sodium hexacyanide and sodium ferricyanide?

Sodium hexacyanide and sodium ferricyanide are both salts derived from cyanide. They are used in a variety of applications, including water treatment, electroplating and photography.

Sodium hexacyanide is the more commonly used salt, but sodium ferricyanide has some unique properties that make it useful in its own right.

Sodium Hexacyanoferrate VS Sodium Ferrocyanide

Formula and Structure

Both sodium hexacyanide and sodium ferricyanide are complex ions with six-fold coordination around a central metal ion. Sodium hexacyanide has the formula Na[CN]6 while sodium ferricyanide has the formula NaFe[CN]6. Both have an empirical formula of C6H5NOSNaFe[CN]6.

The difference between these two salts lies in their structure. Sodium hexacyanide has a trigonal bipyramidal shape with equal sized nitrogen atoms at each vertex of its octahedral cage. In contrast, sodium ferricyanide has a tetrahedral geometry where each nitrogen atom is surrounded by four Fe3+ ions at its corners and one Fe2+ ion at its center.

Where to buy sodium ferrocyanide?

Sodium ferrocyanide is an inorganic salt of iron and cyanide. It is white, odorless powder that is soluble in water, alcohols and acids. Sodium ferrocyanide is used in the manufacturing of many items like pigments, dyes, paints, plastics and textiles. There are many places where you can buy sodium ferrocyanide.

Manufacturers: The best place to buy sodium ferrocyanide is from your local manufacturer. The manufacturer will have a large range of products and you can be sure of the quality of their products because they make them themselves. They also have the knowledge needed to help you select the right product for your needs.

Retail Stores: Retail stores such as Walmart or Target may not carry a wide range of products but they can get them for you if you ask them too. These stores usually carry only one brand of each type of product so it does not give you much choice but it does mean that they have been tested by many people before being sold in these stores.

Online Stores: Online stores such as Amazon have a wide range of products available at very competitive prices which makes them an excellent place to buy anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sodium Ferrocyanide Halal?

Sodium Ferrocyanide is Halal if it’s made from Halal ingredients and processed in a Halal way. If it’s not, then it can’t be called Halal.

Sodium Ferrocyanide is an inorganic compound and can be used as a preservative or colorant in foods. It is also used as a mordant in textiles and paper.

Is Sodium Ferrocyanide Toxic?

Sodium ferrocyanide is not toxic, but it should not be ingested in large quantities. It has been shown to cause neurotoxicity when consumed in high doses.

Is Sodium Ferrocyanide Gluten Free?

No. Sodium ferrocyanide is made from iron and cyanide, which are not gluten-free ingredients. It’s also a food additive that is used in some processed foods and to color ceramics and glassware.

Is Sodium Ferrocyanide Soluble?

Sodium ferrocyanide is soluble in water. At room temperature, sodium ferrocyanide is a white powder. It dissolves easily in water and has a bitter taste.

Is Sodium Ferrocyanide Ionic?

Sodium ferrocyanide is not ionic, but it can be dissolved in water. When dissolved, the sodium ferrocyanide acts as an electrolyte, which means it will conduct electricity.

Is Sodium Ferrocyanide Natural or Artificial?

No, it is not natural. Sodium ferrocyanide is a compound that is man-made, but not artificially. It is created from natural sources, and it is used in a variety of different industries.


As an additive, sodium ferrocyanide acts as a colorant as well as flavor enhancing agent. It can be used in foods to add blue/green color. It’s also used in cosmetics and ceramics. The safety profile of sodium is relatively good, its LD50 (mouse) is 91mg/Kg indicating that not much amount is required to prove fatal to mice. However, it may cause adverse effect on the liver and should be avoided with people have potential for liver problems.

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Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophia Feng, Marketing Manager of Grade Chemical, specializes in writing food chemical article, custom chemical article, industry chemical blog.

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