Sodium erythorbate

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Sodium erythorbate
Sodium Erythorbate
Systematic name Sodium 5-(1,2-dihydroxyethyl)-3-hydroxy -4-oxo-furan-2-olate
Other names D-isoascorbate, Erythorbic acid sodium salt, Sodium erythorbate,
Molecular formula C6H7NaO6
Molar mass 198.11 g/mol
Appearance White solid
CAS number [7378-23-6]
Density ?
Solubility in water 15 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Melting point 168°C - 170°C
Boiling point n/a
MSDS External MSDS
Main hazards ?
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point ? °C
R/S statement ?

Sodium erythorbate (C6H7NaO6)is used predominantly in the meat, poultry, and soft drink food industry. When used in processed meat such as hot dogs and beef sticks, this compound reduces the rate at which nitrate reduces to nitric oxide, thus retaining the pink colouring. As an antioxidant (C6H7NaO6) helps improve flavor stability similar to that of Vitamin C, and helps prevent the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. When used as a food additive, its E number is E316.

It is absolutely incorrect that Sodium erythorbate is made from ground earthworms as claimed by urban legend.[1] It is a chemical compound made from sugars such as beet and cane. It is thought that the genesis of the legend comes from the similarity of the chemical name to the phrase, “earth or bait.”


  1. Family & Consumer Sciences (14 Nov 2005). "Food & Nutrition Frequently Asked Questions: q.29". University of Kentucky. Retrieved 2007-02-18.

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