Potassium Lactate

Potassium lactate is a potassium salt of lactic acid. In chemistry, a salt is a compound that forms when an acid and base react to neutralize one another.

Potassium lactate.svg
Potassium lactate” by Ed (Edgar181) – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Potassium lactate is used to adjust acidity.  It is also used as preservative in cooked and/or cured meat and poultry products.  It is often used as a replacement for sodium lactate when there is a need to reduce the amount sodium.

It is added to food all over the world. Potassium lactate is an approved food additive in Canada1, the USA2, Europe3 and Australia4.


Potassium lactate is a clear odorless liquid.  It is produced by by neutralizing lactic acid with a potassium compound. Lactic acid is commonly found in dairy products such as yogurt, kombucha and some cottage cheeses.  However, when produced industrially, lactic acid is formed through fermentation.  Bacteria convert glucose and sucrose to lactic acid.

An interesting fact is that similar bacteria live in our mouths.  The lactic acid produced by these bacteria is what causes cavities in our teeth.

Common Uses:

Some specific examples of potassium lactate in food include:

Potassium lactate is also used to treat leathers used in book binding5, and in fire extinguishers.

Health Issues / Side Effects:

Many dairy products contain lactic acid but potassium lactate does not contain milk protein.

I could not find any evidence of reported health concerns or side effects.


Potassium lactate has an E Number of 326.

Lactic acid is often found in processed foods like prepared salad dressing.


  1. Canadian List of Permitted Food Additives
  2. FDA Food Additives Status List
  3. Current EU Approved Food Additives
  4. Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
  5. Book Binding and the Conservation of Books
  6. Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray

Further Reading

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