Is 450 vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is 450 vegan?” and will discuss how it is prepared and its properties?

Is 450 vegan?

Yes, 450 is vegan. It is vegan since the raw components are not animal-derived: phosphoric acid (from phosphate rocks) and sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate (from trona ore). As a result, 450 is vegan and vegan-friendly.

Sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP), also known as disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, is a typical leavening ingredient used in bread goods in conjunction with sodium bicarbonate; it also helps retain the color of processed potatoes and inhibits the formation of struvite crystals in canned seafood. It is designated as an E450 food additive in Europe. It is generally vegan and gluten-free.

Phosphates are commonly used in the meat, poultry, and seafood industry Some examples of incorporated phosphates are sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, disodium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and monosodium phosphate. Incorporated either as a single phosphate or in blends, sodium tripolyphosphate is the most commonly used in the industry, accounting for 80% of the phosphates added (4).

What is Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate?

A leavening agent, preservative, sequestrant, and buffer which is mildly acidic with a pH of 4.1. It is moderately soluble in water, with a solubility of 15 g in 100 ml at 25°C. It is used in doughnuts and biscuits for its variable gas release rate during the mixing, bench action, and baking process. It is used in baking powder as a leavening agent. It is used in canned fish products to reduce the level of undesired struvite crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate) by complexing the magnesium. It is used to sequester metals in processed potatoes (1).

Pyrophosphate anion (SAPP) is an inorganic compound that contains sodium cations and an anion. It is mostly utilized in cuisine because of two characteristics:

  •  Baked foods are improved in texture and volume as a result of the combination of baking soda and citric acid. 
  • Use as an iron-chelating agent to keep potatoes from becoming brown after processing.

How 450 is made?

Phosphoric acid is neutralized with sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate to form monosodium phosphate (NaH2PO4), then heated to around 250°C to remove the water. SAPP is a condensed phosphate.

H2O + 2 NaH2PO4 ———àNa2H2P2O7 + 2 NaH2PO4

Monophosphates are prepared commercially by neutralization of phosphoric acid using sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide. Phosphoric acid is produced commercially by two main methods, either a wet process or an electrothermal process. In the wet process, phosphate rock is digested with a mineral acid (usually sulfuric acid, but nitric or hydrochloric acids may also be used). A filtration step then separates the ‘wet’ phosphoric acid from the insoluble calcium sulfate slurry. As variable amounts of inorganic impurities may be present depending on the origin of the phosphate rock the phosphoric acid is purified through a solvent extraction purification process to produce the food-grade additive. In the electrothermal process, the phosphate rock, coke and silica are first heated in an electric resistance furnace to more than 1,100°C to extract elemental phosphorus from the ore. The elemental phosphorus is then oxidized to P4O10 (phosphorus pentoxide) and subsequently hydrated and the mist is collected (2).



Powder or granules of white free-flowing crystalline crystals. Sodium orthophosphate is the end product of the hydrolysis of SAPP if it is exposed to the environment (2).


It is 10g/100ml in water at 20°C. A 1% solution has a PH value of 4-4.5. Ethanol cannot dissolve it (2).

Chemical formula


Molecular Weight


Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate: What Is It Good For?

Chelation is an equilibrium reaction between a chelating (complexing) agent and a metal ion which forms a complex. Trace metal ions in foods can produce undesirable effects such as discoloration, turbidity, and oxidation. The chelating agents can form a complex with the unwanted trace metals, thus blocking the reactive sites of the metal ions and rendering them inactive. The complex formed is termed a chelate, that is, metal + chelating agent = metal complex. Chelating agents are used to control the reactions of trace metals in foods to principally prevent discoloration, such as that occurring in potatoes when iron reacts with phenolic compounds in the presence of oxygen. They are also used with antioxidants to complex trace metals, thus preventing the metal from acting as a catalyst in oxidative reactions (1).

As a chelating agent or in combination with other polyphosphates to sequester magnesium and iron ions, SAPP food grade is often used as an acid component in baking powder; to avoid a darkening of potatoes by chelating iron during processing.

To regulate the pace of reaction in the bakery, it is a slow leavening acid that may include an appropriate aluminum or calcium salt. 

The major food uses of food-grade phosphates include chemical leavening of cakes, cookies, pancakes, waffles, and doughnuts; maintaining the structure and hydration of meat, poultry, and seafood products (muscle foods); use as a protein dispersant in evaporated and spray-dried milk products; use for either flavor or added minerals in beverages; and maintaining the natural structure of some canned fruit and vegetable products. Depending upon the application, phosphates may function as buffers, sequestrants, acidulants, bases, flavors, cryoprotectants, gel accelerants, dispersants, nutrients, precipitants, and as free-flow or ion-exchange agents (3).

·         Bakery

·         Canned Seafood

·         Potatoes Products


As a leavening agent, baking powder is combined with Bakery SAPP to create carbon dioxide. A sluggish response rate is what this is most suited for: refrigerated doughs, cakes, muffins, pancake mixes, and the like.

CO2 and H2O are formed during chemical leavening. Moisture is also added to batters and dough via, for example, milk, eggs, and water. Air is incorporated during mixing. Once heated, CO2 and air expand and water becomes steam with the combined effect of volume expansion during the bake, which increases cell or crumb size (3).

Canned Seafood

SAPP is used to prevent the production of struvite crystals in canned seafood, such as tuna.

As the pH of tuna approaches pH 6.2, there is a tendency for the formation of struvite or magnesium ammonium phosphate, which is a problem because it has the appearance of glass shards. Magnesium ammonium phosphate may also occur in canned shrimp, crab, cuttlefish, and salmon. Sodium acid pyrophosphate at a level of approximately 0.25% added to the pack will adjust the pH to ≤6.0 to prevent crystal formation (3).

Potato products

Potatoes will discolor by three mechanisms: (1) browning occurs via polyphenol oxidase, which is initiated when the potato surface is exposed to air; (2) Maillard browning is the result of amino acid and reducing sugar interaction when heated; and (3) blackening of the cut potato surface is the oxidation of diphenolic compounds in the presence of iron. Commercially prepared French fries are par-cooked and frozen and, as such, are particularly prone to blackening after the heat treatment. Dilute solutions (0.9–1.2%) of SAPP at 140–160 °F are sprayed on the potatoes in order to sequester the iron and prevent the after-cook blackening (3).

It is possible to utilize SAPP to substitute sulfur dioxide, sulfites, and bisulfites in potato products to keep their look and texture intact. Cooked and processed potato goods, such as oil-blanched French fries and potato salad, lose some of their dark colors due to after-cooking darkening when SAPP is applied.

When potatoes are cooked, they get a “darkening” that is caused by iron. Sequestering characteristics of SAPP prevent iron complexes from developing a dark pigment in potatoes, thereby stabilizing their color.

Is it Safe to Use Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate?

As a food additive, it has been deemed safe by several regulatory bodies, including the FDA, EFSA, and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

Color or coloring adjunct, dough strengthener, emulsifier or emulsifier salt, flavoring agent, adjuvant and flavoring agent or adjuvant, flour treatment agent, formulation aid, leaveners, oxidizing or reducing agent, and sequestrant in food are some of the uses of FDA SAPP.  

EU Regulation No 231/2012 lists EFSA Disodium diphosphate (E450i) as a permitted food additive and categorizes it as “additives other than colors and sweeteners”

Re-evaluation of safety in 2019

EFSA concluded in 2019 that disodium pyrophosphate had minimal acute oral toxicity, and there was no worry about its carcinogenic and genotoxic properties. In addition, there were no findings in developmental toxicity research. Phosphate consumption of 40 mg/kg body weight (BW) per day was found to be safe for the human population by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2).

What are the Potential Negative Consequences?

Consumers often wonder if sodium acid pyrophosphate is harmful to their health and what the potential health dangers are. We recognize that people prefer natural food additives and are concerned about synthetic substances in the meals they consume. Although it is usually thought to be harmless, some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to it.

However, being a source of phosphate, it increases the intake of this mineral, which excess can be harmful for health. Accumulating evidence from studies in healthy populations suggests that mild elevations of serum phosphate within the normal range are also associated with cardiovascular disease risk. In addition, animal studies have shown that high dietary phosphorus relative to calcium can induce secondary hyperparathyroidism, bone resorption, lower peak bone mass, and fragile bones in young and old animals (5).

Is it Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Yes, it is normally safe, but you should always check your doctor before using it.

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In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is 450 vegan?” and discussed how it is prepared and its properties?


  1. Igoe, Robert S., and Y. H. Hui. Dictionary of Food and Ingredients. 2011.
  2. EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF), et al. Re‐evaluation of phosphoric acid–phosphates–di‐, tri‐and polyphosphates (E 338–341, E 343, E 450–452) as food additives and the safety of proposed extension of use. EFSA J, 2019, 17, e05674.
  3. Lampila, Lucina E. Applications and functions of food‐grade phosphates. Annal New York acad sci, 2013, 1301, 37-44.
  4. Sickler, Marsha L., et al. Antioxidative effects of encapsulated sodium tripolyphosphate and encapsulated sodium acid pyrophosphate in ground beef patties cooked immediately after antioxidant incorporation and stored. Meat sci, 2013, 94, 285-288.
  5. Calvo, Mona S., Alanna J. Moshfegh, and Katherine L. Tucker. Assessing the health impact of phosphorus in the food supply: issues and considerations. Adv Nutr, 2014, 5, 104-113.