Tripotassium phosphate, also known as tribasic potassium phosphate, appears as a deliquescent white powder. It is a water-soluble ionic salt and are slightly hygroscopic in nature. It is available in hydrated form as a monohydrate and dihydrate and is used as a food additive for its properties as an emulsifier, foaming agent and whipping agent. It should not be used if one has low levels of calcium, or high levels of potassium or phosphorus.
Tripotassium phosphate can be manufactured through the reaction between ammonium phosphate and potassium chloride.
(NH4)3PO4 + 3KCl → K3PO4 + 3NH4Cl
Another production process of potassium phosphate has two steps:
- Wet phosphoric acid is put into an ultrasonic reactor for ultrasonication at the temperature of 2-80°C with the reaction time of 10-120 minutes. Then, the product is cooled to be at room temperature and precipitates are leached. Thus, a filter liquor is obtained.
- Potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate is used to regulate the pH value of the filter liquor and generate precipitates. Then, the new filter liquor is concentrated, evaporated, crystallized, and separated to obtain potassium phosphate.
Tripotassium phosphate is used as a food additive for its properties as an emulsifier, foaming agent and whipping agent in the food industry. It is used in the production of processed meat products, processed cheeses and canned soups. It is used as an acidity regulator for regulating the acidity or alkalinity of a food. Tripotassium phosphate is even used as an emulsifier agent that forms or preserves a mixture of substances normally incapable of being mixed. Tripotassium phosphate is also used as a sequestrant agent can control the availability of a cation. It is used as a stabilizer that maintains the uniform dispersal of substances in food products. Tripotassium phosphate is found in cooked and cured meats, milk and cream products and drinking chocolate.
Tripotassium phosphate is used as a soluble fertilizer to make fertilizer compounds of Nitrogen and phosphorous pentoxide.
Tripotassium phosphate is a buffering agent in cosmetics.
Tripotassium phosphate is a medication used to treat or prevent hypophosphatemia (low blood levels of phosphorus). It is also a component added to intravenous (IV) fluids given to people who cannot eat or drink anything.
Tripotassium phosphate is found in liquid soap and refined gasoline products. It is also used in pharmaceutical and paper making industries. Tripotassium phosphate is a component in antifreeze and de-icing products, cleaning and furnishing care products, plastic and rubber products, and food packaging.