Phosphates are the salts and esters of orthophosphoric acid. Phosphates are derived from minerals such as apatite. The main deposits for phosphates are in northern Africa (Morocco, Western Sahara), Jordan, United States (Florida), Russia (Kola Peninsula), South Africa, Togo and China.
With the exception of the alkali and ammonium compounds, most phosphates are poorly soluble in water.
Since phosphates form compounds with heavy metals, phosphates from sewage sludge can mobilize heavy metals. This often makes the use of phosphates problematic.
Phosphates are used in many ways. Sodium phosphate (E 339), potassium phosphate (E 340), calcium phosphate (E 341), magnesium phosphate (E 343) and the salts of orthophosphoric acid diphosphate (E 450), triphosphate (E 451) and polyphosphate (E 452) are used as food additives. deployed. In the food industry they are used as preservatives, acidifiers, acidity regulators, release agents and emulsifiers.
Phosphates are also used as animal feed, corrosion inhibitors and flame retardants.
Most of the world's phosphate production is used as fertilizer.
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