Chelation agents: EDTA serves it all
EDTA is said to be one of the finest chelation agents. Its applicability has found a profound use in the world of food and its storage. It helps in stabilizing the stuff. The reactions that tend to lead the spoilage of the food towards progress are retarded by this stabilizer. Also these find applications in the detergent industry.
The readers must know that there are two types of waters depending upon their solubility- hard water and soft water. Out consideration is hard water which does not get mixed up with the chemicals present in the soaps and thus the soap lather tends to go out waste. So it is necessary that the ions that are provided by the soap do get mixed with the water. The ions in the soap capture the dirt and then these ions get stuck with the water they are washed with and then the dirt is removed. The ions we are talking about are calcium and magnesium ions in the water which mix up with the ions of the soap, i.e. EDTA. It is a property of EDTA to form bond with the ions of water. Thus the chelation agent finds use in the soap industry also.
Let us now describe how the chemical helps in the prevention of food spoilage. Food is deteriorated by few catalysts that have the transistion elements of the periodic table of elements. EDTA forms a bond with these metals and thus leaves out the chemical which does not harm the longevity of the food. Not only this, but EDTA is also found to link up with other meals also.
It also serves the purpose of retaining color in bananas and potatoes, peas and many other food stuffs. Also it helps in acquiring flavor in tinned drinks, ketchups and many other food pertaining stuffs. The chemical is also found in salts.
Also EDTA, as said earlier, dissolves calcium present in the hard water. This use of the chemical brings it fine in removing the layer of calcium carbonate from substances where the layer is so sensitive to get damaged upon application of acid to it. In case the later elements of the periodic table are deposited over the metal, then the EDTA complex that they form can be easily separated out because of the difference in the stability that it has with different metals.