Formic acid occurs naturally in stinging nettles, and in the
stings and bites of many insects, notably bees and ants. Calcium
formate is the calcium salt of formic acid.
Commercially it is chemically produced. It acts as a preservative
to prevent spoilage of food by inhibiting or preventing the
growth of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms and as an
anti-bacterial - a name given to anything that will destroy
bacteria or suppress bacterial growth or their ability to reproduce.
Used in sauces, gravies, dressings, drinks (carbonated, non-carbonated,
fruit and vegetable juices), and bakery items.
Added to chicken feed to inhibit bacterial growth in the stomach.