A colorless, tasteless and alcohol-soluble organic acid (also called hexadienoic acid), which is one of the unsaturated carboxylic acids counts. It is often used in foods as a preservative because it inhibits growth yeasts, other mushrooms and bacteria acts (prevention of molds on cheese or meat), but not on Lactic acid bacteria, In Germany and Austria the addition is in the grape or Wine up to max. 200 mg / l allowed (but not for Organic wines ), in the USA even to 1 g / l.
However, the sorbic acid can be changed even at very low levels by reaction with lactic acid bacteria to sorbinol, resulting in further reactions to hard to combat wine defects Geranienton leads. Therefore, in the application of large cleanliness (fermentation tanks, barrels) and necessarily additional addition of sulfur dioxide required. Previously, in Germany, the addition of sorbic acid (potassium sorbate) in the production of Süßreserve used, today this is rarely the case. In some Eastern European countries, however, the addition is still widespread. See also below Means in winemaking,