Potassium hydroxide

Approved Small Molecule

Potassium hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide, also known as lye is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KOH. Also commonly referred to as caustic potash, it is a potent base that is marketed in several forms including pellets, flakes, and powders. It is used in various chemical, industrial and manufacturing applications. Potassium hydroxide is also a precursor to other potassium compounds. Potassium hydroxide is used in food to adjust pH, as a stabilizer, and as a thickening agent.6,10 This ingredient has been considered as generally safe as a direct human food ingredient by the FDA, based upon the observance of several good manufacturing practice conditions of use.4 Potassium hydroxide, also known as lye is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KOH. Also commonly referred to as caustic potash, it is a potent base that is marketed in several forms including pellets, flakes, and powders. It is used in various chemical, industrial and manufacturing applications. Potassium hydroxide is also a precursor to other potassium compounds. Potassium hydroxide is used in food to adjust pH, as a stabilizer, and as a thickening agent.6,10 This ingredient has been considered as generally safe as a direct human food ingredient by the FDA, based upon the observance of several good manufacturing practice conditions of use.4

This compound belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as alkali metal hydroxides. These are inorganic compounds in which the largest oxoanion is hydroxide, and in which the heaviest atom not in an oxoanion is an alkali metal.

Structure

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Summary of Product Characteristics

Field Name Value
NamePotassium hydroxide
TypeSmall Molecule
GroupsApproved
DescriptionPotassium hydroxide, also known as lye is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KOH. Also commonly referred to as caustic potash, it is a potent base that is marketed in several forms including pellets, flakes, and powders. It is used in various chemical, industrial and manufacturing applications. Potassium hydroxide is also a precursor to other potassium compounds. Potassium hydroxide is used in food to adjust pH, as a stabilizer, and as a thickening agent.6,10 This ingredient has been considered as generally safe as a direct human food ingredient by the FDA, based upon the observance of several good manufacturing practice conditions of use.4
External IDsE-525 / INS NO.525 / INS-525
IndicationMedically, the microscopic examination of potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparations is utilized in the diagnosis of fungal hyphae or trichomonads 9.
PharmacodynamicsThe corrosiveness of potassium hydroxide renders it a very useful agent in the decomposition/removal soft tissue and hair removal. It is incorporated into some nail products, shaving creams, and soaps 13.
AbsorptionKOH in aqueous solutions completely dissociates into K+ and OH- ions. Because of the neutralization of OH- by gastric HCl and the rapid blood pH regulation action (buffer capacity of extracellular body fluids, respiratory and renal compensation mechanisms), an alkalosis due to the OH- ions after KOH oral dosage in non-irritating conditions is thus prevented 3.
MetabolismKOH in aqueous solution is entirely dissociated into K+ and OH- ions. Due to the neutralization of OH- by gastric HCl and the quick and efficient blood pH regulation mechanisms (buffer capacity of extra cellular body fluids, respiratory and renal compensation mechanisms), an alkalosis due to the OH- ions after KOH oral dosage in non-irritating conditions is prevented 14.
ToxicityNo studies are currently identified regarding the reproduction/developmental toxicity of potassium hydroxide 14.
Taxonomy descriptionThis compound belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as alkali metal hydroxides. These are inorganic compounds in which the largest oxoanion is hydroxide, and in which the heaviest atom not in an oxoanion is an alkali metal.
KingdomInorganic compounds
Super classMixed metal/non-metal compounds
ClassAlkali metal oxoanionic compounds
Sub classAlkali metal hydroxides
Direct parentAlkali metal hydroxides
External descriptorsalkali metal hydroxide (CHEBI:32035)