Formic acid:IN 236

Origin:
Formic acid is naturally present in ants, but also in many fruits (such as apples, strawberries and raspberries), honey and nettles. Commercially produced from sulphuric acid, sodium hydroxide and carbon monoxide.

Function & characteristics:
Used as a preservative against many micro-organisms. Due to its smell, use is very limited.

Products:
Beverages, sweets, bakery products, icecream

Acceptable daily intake:
Up to 3 mg/kg bodyweight

Side effects :
It is metabolised by the liver and excreted. High concentrations are diuretic. No side effect at the acceptable concentrations specified. Locally allergic reactions may occur at high concentrations (such as ant bites and contact with nettles)

Dietary restrictions :
None – formic acid and formates can be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians.


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