What Are The Applications Of SHMP In Food

Applications Of SHMP In Food

SHMP is the abbreviation for sodium hexametaphosphate and is a polyphosphate that is used commonly in seafood, dairy products, meat processing, sausage, water treatment, and toothpaste. E452i is the food-additive number assigned to SHMP food grade in European countries. In general, when added to food it acts as either an emulsifier, thickener, sequestrant, or texturizer.

What Is Sodium Hexametaphosphate

Sodium Hexametaphosphate is a Hexamer of (NaPO3)6 better known as sodium phosphate. This water-soluble phosphate is made up of chains that include 6 repeating phosphate units.

What IS SHMP Made Of

Sodium Hexametaphosphate is a combination of polymeric metaphosphates, and the hexamer is also known as Sodium Polymetaphosphate.

How Is SHMP Made

Sodium Hexametaphosphate is one of the inorganic polyphosphates that is produced during a process of chemical synthesis. It is white or colourless powder, granular, or transparent platelets.

Applications Of SHMP In Food

SHMP is commonly used in beverages and food, water treatment, personal care items, and industrial uses. Available in powdered, glassy, or granular forms. It also exists in technical grade or food grade.

In general, SHMP is one of the multi-functional ingredients that works as a pH regulator, texturizer, bulking agent, binder, and a metal-ions chelating agent.

Food grade Sodium Hexametaphosphate is also used as a type of cross-linking agent that reacts with ingredients such as starch when producing modified food starch. This process increases the molecular weight of the starch and stabilizes the structure of the starch.  

SHMP is also used commonly with other types of Sodium Phosphates to process shellfish, fish, and other types of aquatic products or items as a taste or quality improver, or an effective water-retaining agent. It is also used as a type of emulsifying salt in processed cheese.

Applications Of SHMP In Food – 2 Main Types


SHMP is added to many different types of beverages. It prolongs shelf life, improves clarity, enhances flavour, and stops turbidity in carbonated beverages and fruit juices. It is also used to stabilise the protein and improve the flavour in protein drinks.

Canned Food

SHMP stabilises natural pigments present in canned vegetables, fruits, and beans. This helps to retain and protect the colours in these packaged goods. It can also be used to emulsify fat present in canned meat, which helps to maintain a more uniform texture.

SHMP Food Grade is also commonly used in combination with other types of phosphates to enhance flavour, retain moisture, and increase the shelf-life when it comes to processing cheese, meats, dairy products, poultry, and seafood.

Applications Of SHMP In Food – Is Sodium Hexametaphosphate Safe

The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), the JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives), and other authorities have approved food-grade SHMP as a safe food additive.

SHMP can be used in just about any category of food with maximum levels of 10,000 mg/l or mg/kg. Here is a list of many of the foods that might contain this additive:

– Oils and fats and oil and fat emulsions

– Edible ices such as ice cream or ice lollies

– Vegetables and fruits

– Canned products

– Dairy products such as cheese, yogurts, and more

– Confectionary

– Meat and seafood

– Cereals along with cereal products

– Fish and fish products

– Egg products and eggs

– Syrups, sugars, table-top sweeteners, and honey

– Desserts

– Ready-to-eat store-bought snacks and savouries

– Protein products, salads, sauces, soups, spices, and salts

– Beverages

– Food supplements (this excludes infant food and supplements for young children).