Potassium ferrocyanide (E536)

Potassium ferrocyanide (E536) is a rather dangerous chemical additive, which is forbidden to be used in the manufacturing process of various products in some countries. In our country, there is no such ban, and E536 is actively added to ordinary table salt as an anti-caking agent (prevents salt from clumping). Also, this additive is actively used in various technologies as a clarifier.

There are also the following names of this additive, which are used by manufacturers in indicating the composition of their products: potassium hexacyanoferroate, potassium hexacyanoferrate II, potassium trihydrate, FCS, potassium ferricyanide, yellow blood salt. The element belongs to the group of food additives in the form of an anti-caking component, an emulsifier and a clarifier.

Untreated natural salt has a grayish tint (yes, it looks dirty and ugly at first glance). In the process of adding E536, the salt acquires a white and pure shade, and, consequently, a more attractive aesthetic appearance for the consumer. This plays into the hands of manufacturers, since the appearance of the product can significantly increase the price of a product so popular among consumers.

Some manufacturers add the E536 additive as an emulsifier in winemaking, in the production of sausages. Potassium ferrocyanide is also used in the preparation of certain types of cheese. In cheese, this food additive acts as an emulsifier and imparts color uniformity to the dairy product.

E536 is also added to inexpensive varieties of cottage cheese in order to improve its color and give a crumbly texture to the product (an indicator of the presence of an additive in cottage cheese is the same, crumbly cheese grains).

Accumulation in the human body is harmful and can cause many side effects that will be difficult to eliminate. It should be borne in mind that hard cheeses are included in the diet of children, pregnant women, women during lactation, in postoperative diets, in the diet of the elderly. The presence of potassium ferrocyanide in this dairy product can trigger irreversible processes in various body systems.

Determining the presence of potassium ferrocyanide in a product is quite simple. Such products are characterized by a whitish coating on the shell.

Therefore, if during the period of inspection of the product there is a white coating on the packaging of cheese, sausage or other product, it is recommended to refuse the purchase and choose another type of product.

What is the danger of E536

In our country, the use of this additive in the food and chemical industries is allowed, but there are certain restrictions on its quantity. For salt, the allowable rate is up to 20 milligrams of E536 per 1 kilogram of product.

There are a number of problems that can arise from the constant consumption of food and the accumulation of potassium ferrocyanide in the body:

  • severe intoxication of the body generally;
  • severe dysfunction of the lymphatic system;
  • disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system;
  • skin problems (dermatitis, acne, pimples, purulent inflammation);
  • disorders of the liver and gallbladder;
  • disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

The powder is yellow crystals. This is a chemically synthesized additive that is obtained in the process of gas purification at gas plants.

From the very name of potassium ferrocyanide, it becomes clear that this additive contains cyanide compounds. Additive E536 can be obtained in different ways, and at the same time, the amount of cyanides and hydrocyanic acid in it varies.

Scientists do not comment on the situation with the use of this dangerous emulsifier, especially where its use can be avoided.

Today, potassium ferrocyanide is produced from waste materials, which contain a large amount of cyanide compounds.

This additive is odorless and has a bitter-salty taste. Its density is 1.85 grams per cubic centimeter. At room temperature with dry air, this food additive will not decompose upon contact with air.

The additive hardly decomposes on contact with water. The issue of its harm and benefit is currently being actively investigated in many countries in order to determine the possibility of using E536 in any industry.

When buying different products, you should carefully study the labels indicating the composition and, if possible, avoid buying products with the presence of E536, since if this additive is used incorrectly (in the event of a violated production technology), serious consequences can be provoked for human body.

The use of E536 in industry

Potassium ferrocyanide is actively used not only in the food industry, but also not in the food industry in the form of dyes for fabrics and paper, as a radioactive coal utilizer and as a fertilizer. The maximum dose of this additive in our country is 10 milligrams per 1 kilogram of the product.

If there is a large amount of E536 in dyes and other industrial products, the following reactions of the body can be provoked: allergic rash, redness, itching, ulcers, headache, mucosal damage, etc.

Potassium ferrocyanide will in any case have an effect on a person, therefore, its use should be limited as much as possible.

Sources
  1. Website of the Center for Hygienic Education of the Population of Rospotrebnadzor. – List of dangerous and safe food E-codes.
  2. Wikipedia. – Potassium hexacyanoferrate(II).
  3. Calorie counting site. – E536 potassium ferrocyanide.
  4. Site on chemistry Chemister.ru. - Properties of the substance: potassium hexacyanoferrate (II) - water (1/3).
  5. The European Parliament website. – Potassium ferrocyanide in iodised salt.
  6. Electronic fund of legal and normative-technical documentation. - Interstate standard (GOST): Anti-caking agents for the food industry.
  7. Unitary Enterprise “Scientific and Practical Hygiene Center” in the Republic of Belarus. – Who needs supplements?