Sodium Gluconate USP grade is a sodium salt with the Europeon food additive code number E576 permitting it to be added to all foodstuff, following the "quantum satis" principle, as long as there is no special restriction regulation for usage. The FDA in the USA assigns GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status allowing its use in food without limitation other than GMP (good manufacturing practice).
Sodium Gluconate USP grade has many excellent functional properties such as; non-toxic, easily biodegradeable (98% after 2 days), excellent chelating agent over a wide pH range, acts as pH regulator as well as humectant, highly efficient set retarder, excellent water reducing agent, efficient plasticizer, natural alternative to synthetic chelating agents, and great bitter inhibitor. As a chelator it surpasses all other chelating agents such as EDTA (Trilon B, EDTA-4NA, Versene220) and NTA in stable chelates with calcium, iron, aluminium, copper and other heavy metals. Since the sodium gluconate is easily biodegradable it presents no wastewater problem that other chelators struggle with. It is also used as water quality stabilizer by inhibiting scale.
It is used in the Cosmetic industry to stabilize and protect from discolouration and rancidity of cosmetic oils and butters. Sodium gluconate is used as a chelating agent to form complexes with metal ions, which can influence the stability and appearance of cosmetic products.
It is found in Personal care products such as colour cosmetics, hair care, oral care, skin care, and soap and bath products like creams, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, makeup products, and sunscreen. Sodium gluconate is added to cleansers and shampoos to increase the latter by sequestering hard water ions. Gluconate is used in oral and dental care products such as toothpaste where it is used to sequester calcium and helps prevent gingivitis.
It is used in the Food and Breverage industry as a stablizier, a sequestrant, thickener, and to inhibit bitterness in foods and drinks; cereals, processed fruits and vegetables, processed meats, preserved fish, snacks, confectionery, flavours, sauces, dressings, seasonings, carbonated soft drinks, sports and energy drinks and water.
It is used in Household cleaners because of its multi-functionality; chelating agent, sequestering agent, a builder and a anti-redeposition agent. Such products are; dishwashing detergents, degreasers, laundry care, and surface care. In alkaline cleaners the gluconate prevents hard water ions (magnesium and calcium) from interference with the alkalies thereby permitting the cleaner to perform at its maximum ability. In laundry detergents, sodium gluconate acts as a soil remover as it breaks the calcium bond holding the dirt to the fabric and prevents soil redeposition. Sodium gluconate also protects stainless steel from strong caustic cleaners. It is also used in formulation of acid cleaners for the food industry since the sodium gluconate breaks down scale, milkstone, and beerstone.
It is used in industrial applications; fertilizers, inks, paints, coatings, construction, and metal surface treatment. Sodium gluconate plays a vital role in electroplating and metal finishing because of its strong affinity for metal ions as a sequestrant, which stabilizes the solution, preventing impurities from triggering undesirable reactions in the plating bath. Sodium gluconate acts as a chelator to help deteriorate the anode thus increasing plating bath efficiency. Sodium gluconate can be used in cadmium, copper, and zinc plating baths for brightening and increase luster.
In construction, sodium gluconate serves three purposes; efficient set retarder, good plasticizer, and water reducer for concrete, mortar, and gypsum. It is used as a concrete admix by improving workability, retarding setting time, reducing water, improving freeze-thawing resistance, reducing bleeding, cracking, and dry shrinkage. Addition of 0.3% sodium gluconate can retard setting time of cement by 16 hours depending on ratio of water and cement mix, temperature, etc. As an added bonus the gluconate acts as a corrosion inhibitor to protect the rebar in the concrete from corrosion.
Sodium gluconate is used in fertilizers in agrochemicals to aid plants and crops absorb necessary minerals from the soils. It is also used in the pulp and paper industry to chelate metallic ions which cause problems in the peroxide and hydrosulphite bleaching processes. It is also blended with deicing compounds like salt and calcium chloride to protect metal without deterent of the deicing compound to dissolve ice and snow.
Finally, sodium gluconate acts as a corrosion inhibitor for copper and steel pipe with water in them; boilers and cooling towers. Sodium gluconate above 200 ppm in water pipes made of copper and steel with circulation water produces a protective film of the gluconate salt of the metal eliminating the possibility of dissolved oxygen to come in direct contact with the metal pipes. Water pipes and tanks composed of copper or steel are prone to corrosion and pitting caused by dissolved oxygen in circulation water without sodium gluconate. This results usually is cavitation and degradation of the equipment.