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What is "Sodium Phosphate" and what is its utility?

What is "Sodium Phosphate" and what is its utility?

Sodium Phosphate, or phosphate de sodium (Na3PO4), is the binding of phosphoric acid (H3PO4) with sodium (Na). This ingredient has emulsifying and regulating properties. Sodium phosphate and sodium biphosphate are sources of phosphorus. Once combined, they help cleanse the intestines and alleviate constipation. The question that arises is: what is the utility of sodium phosphate? Let's focus.

All you need to know about Sodium Phosphate

The term Sodium Phosphate refers to:

  • Regarding trisodium phosphate (Na3PO4): this refers to the food additive E339(iii). As this ingredient is irritating, it is recommended to handle it with goggles and gloves;

  • To monosodium phosphate;

  • Disodium phosphate (Na2HPO4): This synthetic ingredient has masking and descaling properties. Used in the manufacture of enamel and ceramics, it is present in toothpastes and mouthwashes. However, it is also used in sun creams, body and face care products (lotions, creams, make-up...) as well as hair care products (colourants, shampoos...).

These molecules differ in their structure. Phosphate salts can sometimes be used as medications. However, some individuals need to reduce their phosphorus intake and therefore the amount of sodium phosphate consumed for health reasons.

Sodium Phosphate: what is its purpose?

Sodium phosphate can be used as:

  • Emulsifier: it prevents the formation of an oily phase;

  • Acidity regulator.

Furthermore, it acts as a humectant, thickening and stabilising agent. Sodium phosphate salts are commonly used in toothpastes. Thus, this active ingredient aids in improving oral hygiene. The presence of calcium ions in saliva can lead to the formation of calcium hydroxyapatite crystals. Sodium phosphate has the ability to reduce tartar deposits on the teeth.

Sodium phosphate is used:

  • As a mild laxative;

  • Following a cataract surgery or a glaucoma surgery.

Furthermore, it can be used as a leavening agent in dough (breaded fish or chicken cakes). It also acts as a foaming agent.

In medicine, sodium phosphate is used to:

  • Reduce the phosphate level;

  • Reducing high levels of calcium in the blood.

The addition of sodium phosphate to food allows:

  • To extend their shelf life;

  • To maintain their appearance as well as their texture;

  • To regulate their pH: this ingredient acts as a stabilising agent and a water retention agent.

Sodium Phosphate: What are the risks?

Sodium Phosphate is classified as an irritant. In the event of direct contact with the eyes or skin, it can cause itching. Furthermore, it can lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.

In the event of skin contact, it is advisable to thoroughly rinse the affected area for 15 minutes. Do not hesitate to remove contaminated shoes and clothing and wash them before reusing. In the case of severe contact, it is better to use a disinfectant soap.


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