What should you know about the formic acid?

kilka mrówek

Contact of our skin with the formic acid is certainly not a pleasant one - just remember how we came into contact with nettle leaves. However, despite this fact, it has a very broad and practical application that we should certainly know. What is worth knowing about the formic acid and where it is used?



Formic acid is an organic compound, which means that it occurs naturally in nature. In addition, it is also possible to synthesize it - this is where it is produced by the industry. It may be interesting to note that the compound is present in the bodies of such insects as, e.g., bees and hornets. The important thing is that it is caustic. It can even cause corrosion, but these properties of the compound allow it to have a fungicidal and even bactericidal effect used in agents intended for cleaning - industrial chemicals. It is also worth noting that it is a product that effectively combats mold.

There are many applications of the formic acid. It appears in cleaning products, in cosmetics, it is is used in beekeeping and tanning, even in the food industry as a preservative. In the latter case, however, only the appropriate safe form is allowed, since the formic acid itself is poisonous. Nevertheless, we are sure to see it in the composition of many products, and among them, in pickled cucumbers or fruit juices.


What is worth remembering about the formic acid?


According to health experts, formic acid in food should be avoided. The main issue is that it is a preservative. It is labeled E236 on the packaging. Sometimes one can face an opinion that it is not tolerated by our body at all, and certainly not assimilated. Specialists warn that consumption of as little as 1 gram per kilogram of body weight can lead to the appearance of unpleasant consequences. Among them there are: poisoning or internal burns, tissue necrosis or, in extreme cases, death.