5 Best Vegan Food Preservatives

  • Author: Ben
  • Date: March 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When a person begins their journey as a vegan, there are many things that they need to take into consideration when creating a diet plan. There are many food sources where a new vegan might fail to determine whether or not it is vegan or non-vegan, and preservatives are one. While it’s healthier to completely avoid preservatives because they’re not known for being healthy, it isn’t always practical. Here is an overview of the five best vegan food preservatives that you can use or ensure that your food contains.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is one of the most common and best vegan food preservatives.

Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid and is used on a regular basis to preserve foods including yogurt, apple cider, cheese, cake, icings, wine, and other baked goods.

This chemical compound is used to inhibit the growth of mold and other undesirable bacteria

Potassium sorbate is one of the vegan food preservatives that is food grade and it is considered to be relatively safe in comparison to other food preservatives and additives. When potassium sorbate is naturally occurring, it is vegan.

Lemon juice 

Whether you’re going to be preparing your own vegan dishes from scratch or you’re going to be shopping at a health food store, lemon juice is a healthy vegan preservative.

If you’re making your own vegan dish, there are instructions available online regarding how to preserve foods with lemon juice.

For instance, if you’re making a vegan dessert, you can use lemon juice as a preservative by soaking the dessert in lemon juice or adding the juice of a lemon to the dessert.

Of course, if you’re going to use lemon juice as a preservative, be sure that the dessert would be tasty as lemon-flavored, since lemon juice has a strong flavor.


Not only is garlic a tasty addition to any vegan dish, but this vegetable, which is a member of the Lily family, is one of the vegan food preservatives that you’ll love.

Garlic has natural antifungal properties, which help to ward off bacteria in food.

The use of garlic powder or garlic salt will likely not provide preservation like fresh garlic will. So, be sure to use plenty of fresh garlic in your salads, vegetables, grains, and other vegan dishes to be sure they remain fresh for a bit longer.

Instead of simply placing whole cloves of garlic in your food, you might want to mince or slice the garlic in order to activate the active ingredient, which is alicin.

Sulphur is also active in garlic.


Vinegar is one of the most common ingredients in salad dressings. Not only does vinegar preserve the salad dressing or any other food it’s added to, but vinegar adds a delicious flavor to whatever food it’s added to.

Vinegar is full of acetic acid, which acts as a natural inhibitor of bacteria and prevents food from spoiling.

When adding vinegar to foods to use as a preservative, be sure not to use too much if you don’t want the vinegar taste to overpower your food.

Depending on what the dish is, you might want to only use a teaspoon or two, if that much. Vinegar is very potent, so not a lot needs to be used in order to obtain the benefits.


Not only does sugar add a sweet taste to food, but it also prevents the buildup of water as well as the growth of microorganisms in food.

How much sugar you’re going to add in order to preserve food will depend on what the particular food is, as you don’t want to add one cup of sugar to a bowl of potato salad or a lentil soup, but more sugar could be used in desserts, or fruits, and more.

You could even sweeten your lemonade with sugar before putting it in the refrigerator, which will enable it to last longer than if you simply put water with squeezed lemons in the refrigerator. 


If you like adding a little spice to your food, then you will love the fact that spicy foods like cayenne pepper can help preserve your foods without worrying about it causing you to cheat on your vegan diet.

The spiciness of cayenne can effectively ward off bacteria.

For more check out our article on the best vegan cooking tips for beginners.

Final Thoughts: What are the best vegan food preservatives?

As you can see, it isn’t necessary to avoid all food preservatives just because you’re vegan. There are plenty of plant-based choices that not only taste great but can also safely enable you to preserve your food while ensuring that you adhere to your vegan diet. These five best vegan food preservatives aren’t the only vegan food preservatives, as there are many additional choices that are available, and what suits you best will depend on what you are trying to preserve. When in doubt about an ingredient, you can always contact the manufacturer directly for clarification. If you shop at some of the finer grocery stores, you should be able to easily find products that are and state that they are vegan.

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