Difference Between Class I Preservative and Class II Preservative (with Table)

Preservatives are compounds, that are used in products such as food items, beverages, pharmaceutical drugs, paints, biological samples, cosmetics, wood, and many more items to prevent microbial spoilage. They prevent rancidity, mold growth, and spoilage. They can be a form of natural preservatives or synthetic and chemical preservatives, they are majorly used for food preservation.

Items or compounds such as salt, nitrate, sugar, vegetable oil, honey, sorbates, sulfites, and benzoates are a few of the most commonly used preservatives for food preservation. Depending on their properties, they are further divided into four classes. Two classes of preservatives that are very distinct from each other are class i preservatives and class ii preservatives.

Class i preservatives are majorly found in common household items such as oil, honey, sugar, and salt. Whereas the class ii preservatives are also known as chemical preservatives are hey are majorly chemicals namely sulfites, benzoates, and nitrites

Class I Preservative vs Class II Preservative

The difference between class i preservative and class ii preservative is that class i preservative is naturally found, they are majorly household items that we use in our day to day life, hence they are not harmful to one’s health, however, class ii preservative being chemically manufactured they certain limitations and restriction for usage as they might be harmful to one’s health.

Comparison Table Between Class I Preservative and Class II Preservative

Parameter of ComparisonClass I PreservativeClass II Preservative
Found inIt is found in most of the common household itemsIt is chemically manufactured
LimitationThere is no such limitation for usageLimitations are set for usage
RiskThere is no riskToo much consumption might e hazardous o health
Safety MeasuresOne does not need to be cautious while handlingOne needs to be cautious, as it is chemical
ExamplesOil, honey, sugar and saltSulfites, benzoates and nitrites

What is Class I Preservative?

Class i preservative area type of preservative that a person can commonly find out within the reaches of their household. They are widely available around us. Class ipreservatives are items that are commonly found in nature. They are very easily obtained from natural things, hence one does not need to be cautious while using them for any purpose.

Class i preservatives are also referred to as traditional preservatives as they are used in home-produced food items. In the case of class i preservative, there are usually restrictions or limitation that has been set by any authority for its usage or consumption. So it is usually helpful to choose food products that contain class i preservative as they are not dangerous to health and they do not have any side effect or complication after consumption, hence one does not need to be cautious while using it.

Class i preservative includes substances o compounds such as salt, vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, honey, and several other household items. Freezing, boiling, smoking is also some methods that are considered as the natural method of food preservation.

What is a Class II Preservative?

Class ii preservatives are also known as chemical preservatives. They are manmade hence they are unnaturally obtained. Class ii preservatives are preservatives that are added to food to make their last longer.

 Class ii preservative includes sulphurus acid and salts, hence benzoic acid and salts, sorbic acids which include Na, K and Ca salts, nitrates or nitrites of Na or K, niacin, sodium and calcium propionates, methyl or propyl parahydroxy-benzoate (parabens), propionic acids including esters or salts and Na, K ad Ca salts of lactic acid and many more.

Class ii preservative being a chemical preservative or substance have imitation or restrictions for maximum usage beyond which they should not be used in certain products. As these products are mainly chemicals, excessive usage or consumption is hazardous to one’s health and hence t might result incomplications or side effects.

A maximum limit has been set by FPO (food products order) in several fruits and vegetable products, it varies between 40-2000ppm (SO2), 120-750ppm (benzoic acid), and between 50-5000ppm (sorbic acid), depending upon the type and category of the food item.

Main Differences Between Class I Preservative and Class II Preservative

  1. Class i preservative is commonly found in most households. They are naturally obtained. However, class ii preservative is chemically manufactured. They are manmade.
  2. There is no such limitation while using class i preservative as they are all-natural products, but in the case of class ii preservative there are limitations and restrictions that have been set by the respective authorities on usage and consumption.
  3. There is no risk in the consumption of class i preservative products however for class ii preservative the food products too much consumption might be hazardous to health, hence it is always the best option to choose for class i preservative which buying food products.
  4. One does not need to be cautious while handling class i preservative as they are daily household items, however in the case of class ii preservative, one needs to be cautious as they are entirely chemicals.
  5. Examples of class i preservative are oil, honey, sugar, and salt. And the examples of class ii preservatives are sulfites, benzoates, and nitrites.


Preservatives are compounds or items that are used to preserve or protect something from microbial spoilage. They can be natural or manmade chemical preservatives. Depending on their features preservatives are classifiedinto four different classes. Two of the most preferred and most used preservatives are class i preservatives and class ii preservatives.

Class i preservatives are natural preservatives. They are common household items such asoil, honey, sugar, and salt. As they are natural substances there is no limitation or restriction set for their usage and hence they are not harmful to one’s health.

On the other hand, class ii preservatives are manmade chemical preservatives such assulfites, benzoates, and nitrites. As they are chemicals limitations and restrictions have been set for their consumption and too much consumption might be hazardous to health.


  1. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19900441559
  2. https://aem.asm.org/content/70/8/4449.short
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408399409527650
2D vs 3D