Potassium Gluconate

What Is It?

Gluconolactone, also called glucono delta-lactone, is an ester of Gluconic Acid. Pure Gluconolactone is a white, odorless crystalline powder. Gluconolactone is formed by the removal of water from Gluconic Acid. Gluconic Acid is a carboxylic acid. Barium Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Cobalt Gluconate, Cooper Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, Lithium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Manganese Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Sodium Gluconate and Zinc Gluconate are salts of Gluconic Acid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Gluconic Acid and its derivatives may be used in the formulation of mouthwashes, bath products, cleansing products, skin care products and shampoo.

Why Is It Used?

The following functions have been reported for Gluconolactone, Gluconic Acid and its salts.

  • Chelating agent: Gluconolactone, Gluconic Acid, Calcium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Sodium Gluconate
  • Cosmetic biocide: Zinc Gluconate
  • Skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous: Gluconolactone, Calcium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Sodium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate

Scientific Facts

Gluconic Acid its derivatives are naturally occurring substances. In mammals, Gluconic Acid is an important intermediate in carbohydrate metabolism. Gluconate is a metabolite of glucose oxidation.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Gluconolactone (glucono delta-lactone), Calcium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate and Manganese Gluconate on its list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). The FDA considers Sodium Gluconate GRAS for use in food as a sequestrant, and Zinc Gluconate GRAS for use in food as a nutrient. Ferrous Gluconate is also permitted for use in food as a colorant exempt from certification.

FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Gluconic Acid and its salts

As part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Production Volume (HPV) chemical program, safety information available on Gluconolactone, Gluconic Acid, Sodium Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate and Potassium Gluconate was reviewed. These compounds were not skin or eye irritants, nor were they skin sensitizers. Mutagenicity and reproductive and developmental toxicity data were negative. The reviewers concluded that Gluconic Acid and its derivatives were of low priority for additional work.

Link to the OECD summary: http://www.chem.unep.ch/irptc/sids/oecdsids/gluconates.pdf

Gluconic Acid, Gluconolactone, Calcium Gluconate, Cobalt Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, Lithium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate and Sodium Gluconate may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union. Water-soluble zinc compounds, including Zinc Gluconate, are permitted to be used in cosmetics and personal care products at a maximum concentration of 1% zinc (see Annex III). Barium salts (excluding barium sulfide and barium sulfate) such as Barium Gluconate are not permitted to be used in cosmetics and personal care products in Europe (see Annex II).

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm

More Scientific Information

Gluconate is produced in the body. It is estimated that about 450 mg Gluconate/kg is produced per day by a 60 kg person. The gluconate forms of some essential metals, such as Copper Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate and Zinc Gluconate, are used as nutrients in food because the gluconate form is more readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract than other forms of these metals.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm

Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm

Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm

EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/