The Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) manages an International Processing Aids (IPA) Database that includes processing aids listed by technological function, many of which have multiple functions. “Microbial nutrients and microbial nutrient adjuncts” is one of the categories in the database and one of the key functions performed by processing aids in this category is as a cryoprotectant.

What are cryoprotectants?
Cryoprotectants are ingredients that are added before the freezing step of the manufacturing process of live microorganisms to protect them from damage during freezing and freeze-drying.

Processing aids that may be used as cryoprotectants include but are not limited to:

Acacia Gum

Dextrose monohydrate

Microcrystalline Cellulose

Sodium chloride

Acetic acid

Diammonium phosphate

Milk powder

Sodium citrate (Di- & Tri-)



Monoammonium phosphate

Sodium dodecyl sulfate

Alkoxylated fatty acid ester (vegetable)

Dipotassium hydrogen phosphate

Monopotassium Phosphate

Sodium formate

Ammonium chloride

Disodium inosinate

Monosodium glutamate L

Sodium hydroxide

Ammonium citrate, dibasic

Formic acid

Nitrogen, liquid

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Ammonium hydroxide


Phosphoric acid

Sodium phosphate, monobasic

Ascorbic acid

Glutamic acid L

Polysorbate 80




Potassium citrate

Soy Lecithin

Calcium ascorbate


Potassium hydroxide

Soy Peptone

Calcium carbonate


Potato Starch


Calcium chloride

Inositol (vitamin B8)

Propyle gallate


Calcium phosphate dibasic


Rice Flour


Casein enzymatic hydrolysate


Rice protein hydrolysate

Trisodium citrate dihydrate

Casein hydrolysate

Magnesium sulfate

Silicon dioxide

Whey (powder)

Casein peptone


Skim milk powder

Whey protein

Citric acid


Sodium alginate

Yeast peptone

Corn starch

Maltose (hydrogenated)

Sodium ascorbate/Ascorbic acid

Yeast/Yeast extract

Corn syrup solids

Manganese chloride

Sodium aspartate/Aspartic acid

Zein from corn

Cysteine L

Manganese sulphate monohydrate

Sodium bicarbonate

Cysteine monohydrochloride L


Sodium caseinate

Why do foods contain cryoprotectants?
Cryoprotectants protect certain components of food, such as live microbial dietary ingredients, food cultures, and probiotics, so they are not killed in the process of making the finished food. There is little to no benefit of live microbial dietary ingredients in food if they are dead or destroyed.

Are cryoprotectants safe?
Yes. Cryoprotectants are regulated and approved for use by some government agencies around the world. They meet quality and safety standards recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).