In industry, EDTA is mainly used to sequester metal ions in aqueous solution. In the textile industry, it prevents metal ion impurities from modifying colours of dyed products. In the pulp and paper industry, EDTA inhibits the ability of metal ions, especially Mn2+
, from catalysing the disproportionation of hydrogen peroxide, which is used in chlorine-free bleaching. In a similar manner, EDTA is added to some food as a preservative or stabiliser to prevent catalytic oxidative decolouration, which is catalysed by metal ions.
In soft drinks containing ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate, EDTA mitigates formation of benzene (a carcinogen).
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