What is Sodium Erythorbate (E316) in Food? Uses, Safety, Side Effects

What is Sodium Erythorbate (E316) in Food? Uses, Safety, Side Effects

What is Sodium Erythorbate

Table of Contents

Sodium erythorbate is a preservative that what is sodium erythorbate used in food produced and packaged in the US and most Western countries. Its use is widespread due to its ability to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, and has an advantage over other preservatives such as salt that sodium erythorbate safety and side effects requires no refrigeration. 

This article will explore the uses of sodium erythorbate in food products, including its safety and side effects.

What is sodium erythorbate?

Sodium erythorbate is a sodium salt of erythorbic acid. It’s also known as E number E282 and ionic sodium erythorbate.

Sodium erythorbate is an antioxidant used in food preparation to prevent discoloration during cooking and storage. It has the same function as vitamin C, but it doesn’t need to be added in its pure form, because the sodium erythorbate itself already contains vitamin C. Therefore, sodium erythorbate is not a nutrient itself, but a compound that helps to stabilize the color and flavor of foods.

Sodium erythorbate acts as an antioxidant by reacting with metal ions to form metal complexes that are more stable than free metal ions. This means that when you’re cooking with sodium erythorbate, it will keep your food from oxidizing or turning brown prematurely if you don’t cook it long enough or at high enough temperatures. This can help keep your meal looking fresh for longer after it’s been cooked.


The chemical structure of sodium erythorbate is C7H7NO4S. The molecular weight of the compound is 217.2 g/mol, and its molecular formula is C7H6O4S.


Sodium Erythorbate Formula

Sodium erythorbate is one of the most widely used antioxidants in food manufacturing. It’s used to prevent the growth of molds, yeasts and bacteria on food products. The addition of sodium erythorbate also increases shelf life by preventing browning or discoloration of meat products.

A number of different types of foods can benefit from using this compound as an additive, including pork sausage, poultry products and processed cheese. In addition to being used as an additive in food processing, it’s also found in cosmetics such as shampoos and toothpastes as well as some pharmaceuticals such as heartburn medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen.

What is sodium erythorbate used for?

Sodium erythorbate is an additive in the food industry. It is used as a preservative, coloring agent, and antioxidant. It is a common ingredient in meat products like hot dogs, sausages, bacon, lunch meats and deli meats.

Sodium erythorbate helps prevent the growth of bacteria by inhibiting enzymes that cause spoilage. It also prevents rancidity in fats and oils, which could otherwise lead to the formation of harmful chemicals called nitrosamines. Sodium erythorbate is sometimes used in combination with other preservatives such as potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate to boost their effectiveness.

Sodium erythorbate can also be added to some foods to improve their color. This is especially important for foods with a short shelf life that are not cooked before they are eaten — like hot dogs, deli meats and smoked fish — because they may look unappetizing if they’re not bright red or pink enough to catch the eye of consumers shopping for them at the grocery store.

How is sodium erythorbate used in food?

Sodium erythorbate is an antioxidant, preservative and curing accelerator. It’s used in many foods, including meat, poultry, baked goods and some dairy products.

  1. Antioxidant: Sodium erythorbate is added to foods as an antioxidant to prevent discoloration and rancidity. As an antioxidant, it prevents oxidation of fat in meat products such as hot dogs and bologna. It also helps preserve the flavor of food by preventing bacteria from producing substances that are bitter or sour.
  2. Preservative: Sodium erythorbate can also be used as a preservative in ready-made foods like canned fruits and vegetables because it inhibits the growth of mold and other fungi. This is important because many canned fruits are naturally low in vitamin C, which helps protect them against spoilage.
  3. Curing accelerator: The salt is produced from erythorbic acid, which is derived from glucose or corn syrup. The compound acts as a curing accelerator when it’s added to meat products before they’re cooked. It helps form the nitrosyl complex, which prevents the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria and other pathogens.

What are the effects of sodium erythorbate on meat?

Sodium erythorbate is a sodium salt of erythorbic acid that is used as an antioxidant in processed meats such as hams, bacon and hot dogs. It helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes.

Sodium erythorbate is also used to prevent discoloration in cured meat products like sausages and smoked ham.

Sodium erythorbate inhibits the growth of bacteria by inhibiting enzymes called dehydrogenases that are essential for bacterial growth. The dehydrogenases convert sugars into pyruvate, which then feeds the bacterial cell’s metabolism. Without sufficient pyruvate, bacteria cannot grow or multiply.

1. What is the Source of Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide is a gas that is produced by the body. It plays an important role in the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels to relax and dilate, allowing blood to flow more easily. It also helps regulate blood pressure, prevents clotting in the blood, and can cause muscle relaxation.

Nitric oxide is produced by a family of enzymes called nitric oxide synthases (NOS). These enzymes convert L-arginine into nitric oxide.

2. Nitric Oxide Reacts with What to Produce Color?

Nitric oxide is a molecule that reacts with certain other molecules to produce color. It usually reacts with two molecules of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to produce brown; however, it can react with other molecules, such as potassium permanganate (KMnO4).

Nitric oxide can be stored in a pressurized container, but it will spontaneously react with oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere to form nitric acid (HNO3), which is harmful to humans. For this reason, nitric oxide is not used commercially.

3. What does Sodium Erythorbate do?

Sodium erythorbate is a food additive that improves the color and flavor of processed meats. It is used in hot dogs, bacon, ham, and other products.

Sodium erythorbate is often added to processed meats as a preservative and flavor enhancer. It helps to prevent discoloration, rancidity and the growth of certain microorganisms.

Sodium erythorbate can also be used to increase shelf life for foods such as baked goods, snack foods, dairy products and prepared meals.

Sodium erythorbate is also added to food for its antioxidant properties. Sodium erythorbate prevents oxidation by reacting with oxygen molecules in foods, which may cause them to turn brown or become rancid over time. The reaction creates new compounds called thiobarbituric acid values (TBARS), which are responsible for maintaining the color of meat products.

What is sodium erythorbate made?

Sodium Erythorbate is an additive that helps to prevent the growth of molds and yeast in food products. It is used in meat, poultry, fish, fruit juices and other foods that are prone to spoilage.

Sodium Erythorbate is made from 2 chemicals: erythorbic acid and sodium borate (sodium tetraborate). The process starts with the production of erythorbic acid. It is made by fermenting glucose using baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The resulting product is then purified and converted into sodium erythorbate through a chemical reaction with sodium borate. Sodium erythorbate can also be produced by reacting erythorbic acid with hydrogen peroxide or ozone gas.


Appearance White crystalline solid, available in two forms, powder and granular
Other names Sodium isoascorbate, Sodium D-isoascorbic acid, Sodium salt of 2,3-didehydro-D-erythro-hexono-1,4-lactone, 3-keto-D-gulofurano-lactone, sodium enolate monohydrate
CAS number ‎6381-77-7
Chemical formula C6H7O6Na·H2O (monohydrate)
Molecular weight 216.13
Solubility Freely soluble in water, very slightly soluble in ethanol
PH 5,5 to 8,0 (10 % aqueous solution)

What are the application of sodium erythorbate?


Processed Meat

Sodium erythorbate is used to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores in cooked meats such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, sausages and canned meat products. It is also used to prevent browning or discoloration of cooked meat patties during storage or freezing. Sodium erythorbate has been shown to be effective at preventing both types of spoilage – it inhibits C. botulinum spore germination and vegetative growth (growth on agar plates), but does not inhibit C. botulinum toxin production once the spores have germinated into vegetative cells.

Fruit & Vegetables

Sodium erythorbate is used to inhibit the growth of mold and yeast on fruits and vegetables. It also helps maintain the color of fruits and vegetables by preventing enzymatic browning reactions that occur when plant cells are damaged by cutting or bruising them.

Fresh Meat

The chemical is primarily used to prevent spoilage in foods that are high in water content — such as meat, fish and poultry — and to extend shelf life by destroying enzymes that cause color changes during storage. Sodium erythorbate is added to some fresh meats before packaging or processing to inhibit bacterial growth. This helps prevent spoilage during storage and distribution of raw meat products. The addition of sodium erythorbate also helps maintain redness in cooked meats so consumers can easily identify meat that has been cooked properly.


Sodium erythorbate is also used as an antioxidant in cosmetics such as shampoo, conditioners and facial cleansers. This is because it inhibits oxidation reactions leading to rancidity or discoloration of these products.

Is sodium erythorbate safe to eat?

Sodium erythorbate is a food additive that is used as a preservative and antioxidant. It is added to foods such as meats, poultry, fish, cheeses and baked goods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved sodium erythorbate for use in these products. However, it has not been evaluated as a direct food additive for human consumption.

Sodium erythorbate may also be used in cosmetics and personal care products to preserve their freshness or effectiveness. If you are using skin care products with sodium erythorbate, avoid applying them to broken skin or areas of irritation on your body. If you experience any irritation after using these products, stop using the product immediately and consult your doctor if necessary.


Among its uses, it is used as an antimicrobial agent, antioxidant, color or coloring adjunct, dough strengthener, flour treating agent, oxidizing or reducing agent, processing aid, and surface finishing agent.


In Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012, sodium erythorbate (E 316) is listed as an “Additives other than colours and sweeteners” as an authorised food additive.

Safety Re-evaluation in 2016

After reviewing genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and other studies, EFSA concluded that there is no need to revise the current ADI of 6 mg/kg bw/day. Erythorbic acid (E 315) and sodium erythorbate (E 316) would not pose any safety concerns at the approved or reported levels.

Authorised Uses

Here are the approved uses and maximum usage, which are the same as that of erythorbic acid:

Food Categories Maximum permitted levels (mg/L or mg/kg as appropriate)
Cured and preserved meat products 500
Frozen and deep-frozen fish with red skin 1500
Preserved and semi-preserved fish products 1500

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

The code number 316 designates it as an approved ingredient in Australia and New Zealand.


Food grade Specification and function class: Antioxidant.

Acceptable Daily Intake: In 1990, ADI issued a “not specific” set.

What are the side effects of sodium erythorbate?

Sodium erythorbate is a food additive that is used to make meat and poultry look fresh, red and juicy. It also helps keep the meat from turning brown when exposed to air. The sodium erythorbate can cause certain side effects if consumed in large amounts.

The side effects of sodium erythorbate may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Irritability

Is sodium erythorbate a preservative?

Sodium erythorbate is a food additive that is used as a preservative, antioxidant and flavor enhancer in foods. It is often used in meat products such as hot dogs, luncheon meats and bacon.

Sodium erythorbate is a salt of the sugar-free antioxidant erythorbic acid, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC). It is often used in combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or potassium sorbate.

Erythorbic acid is found naturally in fruits and vegetables, but it’s also produced synthetically for commercial use. Sodium erythorbate can be made from natural or synthetic sources. The synthetic version is commonly used for preserving processed foods because it’s more stable than natural sources.

Sodium erythorbate has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1956 for use as an antioxidant in canned tuna and salmon; however, the agency hasn’t approved it as a preservative for other foods.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the FDA to ban sodium erythorbate because of concerns about its safety as well as its lack of effectiveness as a preservative.

Where to buy sodium erythorbate?

You can buy sodium erythorbate at most grocery stores or online through Amazon or eBay. There are many different brands available on these sites, so you should compare prices before making your purchase decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sodium erythorbate natural?

Sodium erythorbate is a natural preservative, but it is not a natural compound. It’s made from two naturally occurring chemicals: sugar and sulfur dioxide. The sulfur dioxide reacts with the sugar to create sodium erythorbate.

Is sodium erythorbate halal?

Yes, it is halal. Sodium Erythorbate is a preservative commonly used in food. It is made from sugar, water, and erythorbic acid. The erythorbic acid is derived from cornstarch and fermented with Aspergillus niger.

The processed ingredient is Halal because it doesn’t contain any alcohol or pork products.

Is sodium erythorbate kosher?

Sodium Erythorbate is kosher, and has been since the 1940s. It’s a common ingredient in many foods because it helps preserve them, much like vinegar or salt. The word “sodium” is used because it’s a salt that contains sodium ions. The word “erythorbate” comes from erythorbic acid, which is a natural antioxidant.

Is sodium erythorbate gluten free?

Sodium erythorbate is not considered to be gluten free because it is made with wheat. If a product contains sodium erythorbate, it should be clearly labeled on the label as containing wheat (or other gluten-containing grains).

Is sodium erythorbate vegan?

Sodium erythorbate is not vegan because it’s an animal product that contains no protein or fat. It’s derived from animals and therefore cannot be considered vegan.

What does sodium erythorbate made of?

Sodium erythorbate is made from ammonia and ethylene oxide, which are chemicals found in household cleaners and fertilizers. The additive may also be produced by reacting sodium bicarbonate with 2-aminoethanethiol. This chemical reaction produces ethyl esters, which are then reacted with acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide to produce sodium erythorbate.

Sodium erythorbate can be used as a food additive in many different types of foods including various meats, cheeses and fish products to maintain color stability during processing or storage conditions. The additive can also be added to bread products or other baked goods to help prevent mold growth during storage conditions.

Does heat destroy sodium erythorbate?

The short answer is yes, heat will destroy it. The long answer is that it depends on how much temperature change you’re talking about and what type of heat you’re using.

Erythorbic acid itself is stable up to a temperature of 200°C (392°F). But once it comes into contact with water, it breaks down into ethylene glycol and carbon dioxide gas. This process happens at room temperature as well as at higher temperatures — basically anywhere from around 10°C (50°F) to 40°C (104°F).

How much is sodium erythorbate used in bacon?

The exact amount of sodium erythorbate used in bacon varies by brand and product type. However, it is typically added at a rate of 0.5 percent to 1 percent of the total weight of the product by weight. This means that for every 100 grams of bacon, there would be 50 milligrams to 100 milligrams of sodium erythorbate present in the meat.


There are no known side effects to consuming foods that contain sodium erythorbate, other than allergic reactions. Sodium erythorbate is considered to be safe for consumption by humans. However, studies have not been conducted on the long term effects of consumption of this preservative, so it is unknown whether or not adverse health effects could occur after consuming it for a long period of time.

if you have any questions or comments please contact us in below comments.

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 .

Recent Post:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One professional food chemical manufacturing company in China, we can supply different types of food additives, flavors fragrances, feed additives, food ingredients, and custom chemicals, etc

Fill out the form and our sales team will contact you with our best prices.

Scroll to Top

Ask for Quick Quote

We will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention to the email.