Longer Shelf Life with Sorbic Acid?

By Lin Carson

sorbic acid from rowan tree berries

Sorbic acid is a food preservative which originated from rowan tree berries.

Sorbic acid is a common antimicrobial agent used in bakery products to combat mold. It’s a carboxylic acid, virtually odorless and tasteless when used in food processing. Its use has been dated back to 1859. Extracted from an all-natural source, berries of the Rowan tree, it’s no wonder this particular antimicrobial is a popular and effective choice among many bakers.

But it’s an acid!

Yes, we all know what acid does – reduces pH, kills yeast, and changes dough or batter properties. Bakers do not like it when these things happen, so you might well be asking, how can I use this acid to help my products?

Here comes the magic bullet

The trick is to use it in encapsulated form. When sorbic acid is encapsulated (most encapsulation technology uses lipids), it is prevented from interacting with other ingredients such as yeast and gluten protein. Encapsulation technology ensures that the sorbic acid keeps its rigid shell until temperature exceeds 1450F. Remember, this is after the yeast kill step. Therefore, when encapsulated sorbic acid is used, it is not released into your yeasted product until at least 50% of your baking time has elapse, ensuring ideal loaf volume is achieved. Read more on sorbic acid here.


About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.


  1. Brent September 17, 2018 at 7:31 am - Reply

    can i use this product on chiffon cakes?

  2. Saumya Gupta November 16, 2018 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Can i used sorbic acid in cupcakes?

    • Ana Rinck
      Ana Rinck November 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Yes! Read more about Sorbic Acid, here.

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