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What is Sequestrant?

A sequestrant is a food additive which acts as a stabilizer and improves the quality of food. It is taken from the Latin word “sequestrare” meaning to remove from use.

As the name implies, it works in the form of a sequestering agent that builds chelate complexes around metal ions which are polyvalent to stop the oxidation of fats. Chelate complexes are substances with molecules that have the ability to form more than a single bond between a single metal ion. Also known as a chelating agent this works mainly with nickel, copper and iron which work primarily as catalysts in fat oxidation of food.

Common sequestrants include sodium gluconate, sodium tripolyhosphate and calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate. These are often used in the production of food to eliminate the presence of metal ions which may cause food to deteriorate. Aside from this, it also serves to lessen the absorption of minerals or the removal of such.

Sequestrants work primarily as preservatives, helping to extend the shelf life of food products and keeping these fresh for consumption.