Phosphates are compounds with a phosphorus-containing chemical group. Phosphates are present in the food system both from  naturally occurring, organic compounds such as phytic acid, and from inorganic components of food additives. Phosphate content is higher in processed foods compared to naturally occurring levels.

Health considerations

Inorganic phosphates, taken in via food additives, raise serum phosphate, or phosphate levels within the blood, moreso than naturally occurring phosphates. High-normal serum phosphate is associated with increased risk of damage to blood vessels in the general population. Additionally, intake of inorganic phosphates presents a health risk for patients with chronic kidney disease, for whom it is associated with increased mortality.

Keep in mind

There are currently no regulations that require labelling of phosphate levels within foods.

May be found in

Emulsified spreads, cheese, coffee whitener, breakfast cereal, prepared vegetables, fruit juice concentrate, cola drinks


German Doctors Journal


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