EDTA, typically listed as a salt such as calcium disodium EDTA, is a compound used in food to isolate certain additives, preventing them from interacting with and altering the properties of others. For example isolating iron to prevent it from altering the antioxidant potential and of various vitamins. EDTA also helps preserve colours and flavors, and may be present in pesticides.

Health considerations

EDTA compounds have no nutritional value. EDTA compounds containing minerals such as iron can be used to fortify foods and as a source of dietary iron and other essential minerals. There is some concern that EDTA in pesticides binds minerals present in agricultural crops, preventing their absorption by consumers; this has not been proven as a concern at current intake levels.

Keep in mind

EDTA compounds are present in very small amounts. Quantity of EDTA-containing pesticides and food additives is regulated to limit negative effects on mineral absorption.

May be found in

Soft drinks, alchoholic beverages, fermented malt beverages, mayonnaise, dressings, spreads, sauces, canned vegetables and legumes, canned shrimp, margarine, pie filling, pickles, canned cams, potato salad, cooked egg products


Versene CA Food-Grade EDTA
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
United States Environmental Protection Agency

Alternative Spellings and Names


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