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Sodium Erythorbate/Sodium Isoascorbate E316

The antioxidant properties make it an excellent component for maintaining an attractive appearance and flavor in foods, from meat and fish to fruits and vegetables. Using it in cured meats helps produce a desirable pink tone in the meat as well as preventing the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines. The flavor and color stability of beverages is also enhanced by its use at a level of parts per million.

Sodium Erythorbate is produced by fermentation of liquid corn sugar to meet the specification outlined in the Food Chemical Codex and occurs as a white crystalline powder. As an isomer of sodium ascorbate, it does not possess significant vitamin activity; however, it does contribute an antioxidant function. To perform a similar antioxidant function, the following replacement ratio is suggested.

1 part Ascorbic Acid =1.23 parts Sodium Erythorbate
1 part Sodium Ascorbate = 1.09 parts Sodium Erythorbate

It is stable in dry form, but in aqueous solution it is easily oxidized upon exposure to air. Heavy metal ions such as copper, iron, etc, accelerate this oxidization. Consequently, it is best to prepare a Sodium Erythorbate solution using stainless steel or non-metallic containers. Other ingredients should be added to the solution first, salt, sugar, phosphates, etc. because they help to stabilize the Sodium Erythorbate against premature oxidization.

Application in food:

In cured meat processing, Sodium Erythorbate has three main functions. Erythorbate reduces nitrite to nitric oxide, thereby, accelerating the formation of the pink meat color. Secondly, as an antioxidant, it contributes to color and flavor stability. Lastly, Sodium Erythorbate helps prevent the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines.

When used in a spray or dip for seafood, Erythorbate can help prevent color fading. Rockfish maintain an attractive appearance for longer periods of time.

In fruit and vegetable processing, Sodium Erythorbate serves as an oxygen scavenger to retard surface browning of sliced produce that results from enzymatic action. This color preservation is often enhanced when combined with the pH lowering and metal chelation function of citric acid. Under certain conditions, Sodium Erythorbate can have a sparing effect on Vitamin C because erythorbate is preferentially oxidized. This application is especially useful in fruit juices and beverages.

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