The following list of foods may include potassium sorbate within the use limits of 20 to 6,000 mg/kg (14): It can be commercially synthesized with potassium hydroxide by neutralizing sorbic acid (E200, also a food preservative, can be found naturally in berries, but commercial is produced from chemical synthesis). (1) Allergy symptoms such as skin and eye irritation in some people allergic to potassium sorbate, especially cosmetics and personal products. Potassium sorbate acts as a wine stabilizer, which is not added until the fermentation process is complete. Its purpose is not to prevent fermentation, but to prevent wines from starting to ferment again by inhibiting the reproduction of yeast. Benzene levels in 230 soft drinks sold in the UK were generally below the World Health Organization`s limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for drinking water. Nevertheless, average benzene levels were above the stricter UK limit of one ppb for water. Only one beverage contained sodium benzoate levels above the legal maximum concentration of -169 mg/L. However, the manufacturer of this product, M&J Gleeson & Co, then conducted its own tests and found that the levels were below 150 mg. Potassium sorbate is used as a preservative (8) in cosmetics and personal care products. It is a mild preservative that extends shelf life by inhibiting yeast and mold, it can also replace parabens. Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit mold and yeast in many foods such as cheese, wine, yogurt, dried meat, cider, dehydrated fruit, soft drinks and fruit drinks and baked goods.  It is used in the preparation of products such as hot cake syrup and milkshakes served by fast food restaurants such as McDonald`s.
  It can also be found in the list of ingredients of many dried fruit products. In addition, herbal supplements usually contain potassium sorbate, which prevents mold and microbes and increases shelf life. It is used in amounts where no adverse health effects are known, over short periods of time.  The labelling of this preservative on ingredient claims is “potassium sorbate” or “E202”. In addition, it is used in many personal care products to inhibit the development of microorganisms for preservation stability. Some manufacturers use this preservative as a substitute for parabens. Enteral feeding of potassium sorbate reduces gastric load caused by pathogenic bacteria.  (11) Wines controlled by the Community may contain all authorised preservatives, namely sulphur dioxide, potassium bisulphite, potassium metabisulphite, sorbic acid and potassium sorbate or any other preservative, in so far as permitted by Community regulation. Although potassium sorbate is approved as safe by the FDA and EFSA, there may be potential side effects, and the controversy focuses on the fact that it can cause certain health problems, such as: (b)prohibit the sale or import of foods containing added preservatives, with the exception of certain foods that contain preservatives acceptable in or on them; within prescribed limits or other requirements (Regulation 4, Schedule 2 and Schedules 3, paragraphs 4, 5 and 6); Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, with the chemical formula CH3CH=CH−CH=CH−CO2K. It is a white salt very soluble in water (58.2% at 20 ° C). It is mainly 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 occurs naturally in rowan berries, almost the entire global supply of sorbic acid, from which potassium sorbate is extracted, is produced synthetically. Many of the side effects I experience are parallel to those described by people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease or think it might be their problem. I was diagnosed with IBS over 40 years ago and had been wondering for a few years if it was really celiac disease. I`ve stuck to a gluten-free diet, and have been for many years, removing other items that have made me hospitalized multiple times — not a cause found by medical professionals and tests. Recently, I consumed a brand of supermarket ginger ale and suffered from severe pain, diarrhea, bloating, and extreme bloating that are also my IBS symptoms for about 12 hours. So when I have such an intense and painful reaction, I naturally want to know what the cause might be. The next day, I had another branded ginger ale that doesn`t contain potassium sorbate, and I`m doing absolutely well. I certainly knew a few decades ago that I couldn`t tolerate sorbitol, but this latest episode allows me to research and try to understand the additives in what I might have consumed. It seems pretty clear to me now that I am very intolerant to this ingredient/additive, and I am really surprised that there are so few scientific studies about it when it is so widely used as a preservative. Potassium sorbate is a yeast and mold inhibitor that is also active for several bacteria (2), but less effective.
It is sorbic acid (active form) that has the inhibitory activity produced after ionization of potassium sorbate in water. Potassium sorbate is the salt of unsaturated fatty acids that participate in fat metabolism and are eventually metabolized in the human body into water and CO2. (10) Potassium sorbate, like sodium potassium benzoate, is the usual preservative in Coca-Cola, which is added to some non-carbonated and juicy beverages to protect the taste. (4) (5). It is found in the ingredient lists of Sprite Lymonade and Fanta Orange. In this way, it stabilizes the wine and is always combined with potassium metabisulfite in sweet wines before bottling. For the survey, 250 soft drinks were tested for benzoic acid (210), sodium benzoate (E211), potassium benzoate (E212), calcium benzoate (E213), sorbic acid (E200), potassium sorbate (E202) and calcium sorbate (E203). Benzoates (E210-213) and sorbates (E200, E202-203) are used as preservatives in various foods.
A survey of their use in soft drinks was carried out to determine the actual use of these additives in beverages and to ensure that manufacturers comply with legislation. This follows a similar survey conducted in 2005. The use of benzoates and sorbates in foods is regulated under the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations, 1995 (Regulatory Instrument (SI) 3187), as amended. Benzoates and sorbates may be used in flavoured non-alcoholic beverages (excluding milk-based beverages). The maximum permitted level for benzoates in soft drinks is 150 mg/l (expressed as benzoic acid). The maximum permitted level for sorbates is also expressed as free acidity and is 300 mg/l when used alone or 250 mg/l when used in combination with benzoates. Maximum permitted levels refer to ready-to-eat foods prepared in accordance with the manufacturer`s instructions. Therefore, for concentrates (pumpkins), beverage values apply when diluted according to manufacturers` recommendations. Soft drinks are probably the main factor in benzoate and sorbate consumption in young children, as these products are heavily consumed in this age group.
Information from this survey will be used to further refine intake estimates of these preservatives and to feed into future EU discussions on maximum permitted levels of benzoates and/or sorbates in food. The preservatives considered in this study are benzoic acid (E210), sodium benzoate (E211), potassium benzoate (E212), calcium benzoate (E213), sorbic acid (E200), potassium sorbate (E202) and calcium sorbate (E203).