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Potassium Sorbate (preservative)?

  • By Livvy

    I am starting to get the pain of migraine and I earlier today ate this hummus. (I did think hummus gave me a migraine in the past but it has been like 6 months since I ate it.) In the ingredients is Potassium Sorbate and I looked it up and it is artificial and used to stop mold, etc in food. I found a number of people saying it gave them or a loved one an instant and severe migraine. Ugh. I have been super careful about what I am eating and just splurged on the hummus without examining the ingredients.
    Has anyone heard of this with migraines? I will try to be on and off here but you know how it goes, it may be later that I get back here but I will really like to know if anyone knows about this stuff.
    Thanks.

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  • By Livvy

    Potassium Sorbate comes from potassium hydroxide which comes from wood ash. The potassium hydroxide is mixed with sorbic acid. The sorbic acid neutralizes the potassium hydroxide. I don’t exactly know what they are neutralizing but basically Potassium Sorbate is made by combining those 2 elements.

    To make Potassium hydroxide they leach the wood ashes and this results in potassium carbonate. Then they heat the potassium carbonate to release the carbon dioxide and this leaves potassium oxide. Then they add water and this makes Potassium hydroxide. :/ That’s a lot of messing with wood ash.

    To make sorbic acid there is even more complex chemistry which includes using zinc, cadmium, metal oxide to get the final product. I always assumed it was just the remains of orange or lemon juice. It is crazy what they do in a lab to produce it. It so happens sorbic acid is also a trigger for me.

    Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit molds and yeasts. It can be used in wine. It is used in dried fruits a lot. Many herbal supplements use it to increase shelf life and stop mold from forming. It can also be used in creams, lotions, etc.

    Wow. I didn’t expect to find all of this. I’m into natural food. I think as it’s often at the end of a list and sounds vaguely natural I would normally dismiss it as anything to worry about. I avoid sorbic acid but I still thought it was natural. I wont go into the process here but after what I just read I will never consume sorbic acid again. Well, that’s just the place I have come to. I don’t know if this has triggered my current headache but I’m staying away from it in future. 🙂

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  • By BigTeddy

    Hi Livvy

    Sorry to read that you are suffering from migraines.

    I have suffered from them for about 25 years, so I know where you’re coming from. Until about two months ago, I hadn’t had an attack for about a year. And now the things have returned with a vengeance.

    Like you, I find that potassium sorbate is one of the triggers. You probably know that Potassium Sorbate is also known as E202. I have found that bananas are rich in naturally occuring Potassium Sorbate.

    However after avoiding Potassium Sorbate like the plague, I have found out that many manufacturers are now using Potassium Sorbate as an ingredient in personal care items, such as shampoo and shower gel, to replace SLS and Parabens in their products.

    Potassium Sorbate used in personal products triggers migraines more quickly than foodstuffs as it doesn’t go via the liver.

    Nowadays it is an absolute nightmare trying to avoid the stuff.

    I have found that Avon products don’t contain Potassium Sorbate. At the moment.

    Any way, I hope that this has given you further insight in how to avoid migraines.

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