Frosted Twinkie cake

EDTA is used in baking for chelation and added to food products as a stabilizer as well as a preservative.

Ethlenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)

What is EDTA?

EDTA is a chelating agent and antioxidant.


EDTA was first discovered in 1935 by Ferdinand Munz. EDTA is composed of formaldehyde, sodium cyanide, and Ethylenediamine.


EDTA is used for chelation and is also added to food products for utilization as a stabilizer, as well as a preservative because it inhibits oxidation and rancidity.


EDTA is a diverse amino acid compound which presents itself in many different forms and is utilized in many industries.

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

EDTA composition

Chemical structure of EDTA.


100-300 parts per million is recommended. EDTA is a very powerful chelation agent. The salts of EDTA can be used as sequestrants in many foods and even beverages. EDTA reacts negatively with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and sodium bicarbonate. Therefore, EDTA is not appropriate for use in chemically-leavened products like cake or donut batter. EDTA is usually used on shelf-stable filling or frosting.