Disodium pyrophosphate
Disodium pyrophosphate
IUPAC name
Disodium dihydrogen diphosphate
Other names
Diphosphoric acid, disodium salt
Disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate
Disodium diphosphate
Sodium acid pyrophosphate, SAPP
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.028.941 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 231-835-0
E number E450(i) (thickeners, ...)
  • InChI=1S/2Na.H4O7P2/c;;1-8(2,3)7-9(4,5)6/h;;(H2,1,2,3)(H2,4,5,6)/q2*+1;/p-2 ☒N
  • InChI=1/2Na.H4O7P2/c;;1-8(2,3)7-9(4,5)6/h;;(H2,1,2,3)(H2,4,5,6)/q2*+1;/p-2
  • [Na+].[Na+].[O-]P(=O)(O)OP([O-])(=O)O
Molar mass 221.936 g·mol−1
Appearance White odorless powder
Density 2.31 g/cm3
Melting point > 600 °C
11.9 g/(100 mL) (20 °C)
1.4645 (hexahydrate)
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
2650 mg/kg (mouse, oral)
Related compounds
Other anions
Other cations
Related compounds
Tetrasodium pyrophosphate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Disodium pyrophosphate or sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP)[1] is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Na2H2P2O7. It consists of sodium cations (Na+) and dihydrogen pyrophosphate anions (H2P2O2−7). It is a white, water-soluble solid that serves as a buffering and chelating agent, with many applications in the food industry. When crystallized from water, it forms a hexahydrate, but it dehydrates above room temperature. Pyrophosphate is a polyvalent anion with a high affinity for polyvalent cations, e.g. Ca2+.

Disodium pyrophosphate is produced by heating sodium dihydrogen phosphate:

2 NaH2PO4 → Na2H2P2O7 + H2O

Food uses

Disodium pyrophosphate is a popular leavening agent found in baking powders. It combines with sodium bicarbonate to release carbon dioxide:

Na2H2P2O7 + NaHCO3 → Na3HP2O7 + CO2 + H2O

It is available in a variety of grades that affect the speed of its action. Because the resulting phosphate residue has an off-taste, SAPP is usually used in very sweet cakes which mask the off-taste.[2]

Disodium pyrophosphate in baking powder, New Zealand, 1950s

Disodium pyrophosphate and other sodium and potassium polyphosphates are widely used in food processing; in the E number scheme, they are collectively designated as E450, with the disodium form designated as E450(a). In the United States, it is classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for food use. In canned seafood, it is used to maintain color and reduce purge[clarification needed] during retorting. Retorting achieves microbial stability with heat.[3] It is an acid source for reaction with baking soda to leaven baked goods.[4] In baking powder, it is often labeled as food additive E450.[5] In cured meats, it speeds the conversion of sodium nitrite to nitrite (NO2) by forming the nitrous acid (HONO) intermediate,[clarification needed] and can improve water-holding capacity. Disodium pyrophosphate is also found in frozen hash browns and other potato products, where it is used to keep the color of the potatoes from darkening.[4]

Disodium pyrophosphate can leave a slightly bitter aftertaste in some products, but "the SAPP taste can be masked by using sufficient baking soda and by adding a source of calcium ions, sugar, or flavorings."[1]

Other uses

In leather treatment, it can be used to remove iron stains on hides during processing. It can stabilize hydrogen peroxide solutions against reduction. It can be used with sulfamic acid in some dairy applications for cleaning, especially to remove soapstone. When added to scalding water, it facilitates removal of hair and scurf in hog slaughter and feathers and scurf in poultry slaughter. In petroleum production, it can be used as a dispersant in oil well drilling muds.[citation needed] It is used in cat foods as a palatability additive.[6] Disodium pyrophosphate is used as a tartar control agent in toothpastes.


  1. ^ a b "Lallemand Baking Update: Chemical Leaveners Volume 1 / Number 12" (PDF). www.lallemand.com. Lallemand Inc. 1996. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  2. ^ John Brodie, John Godber "Bakery Processes, Chemical Leavening Agents" in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology 2001, John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/0471238961.0308051303082114.a01.pub2
  3. ^ http://www.foodproductdesign.com/articles/1994/08/in-the-can.aspx -Retorting, Accessed 2010-11-27
  4. ^ a b Ellinger, R.H. (1972). "Phosphates in Food Processing". Handbook of Food Additives (2nd ed.). Cleveland: CRC Press. pp. 617–780.
  5. ^ "Food-Info.net : E-numbers : E450 Potassium and sodium di-phosphates".
  6. ^ Roach, Mary (2013-03-25). "The Chemistry of Kibble". Popular Science. Retrieved 2016-02-16. Pyrophosphates have been described to me as "cat crack." Coat some kibble with it, and the pet food manufacturer can make up for a whole host of gustatory shortcomings.