Primarily used as a food additive tetrasodium pyrophosphate (TSPP) is a salt composed of pyrophosphate and sodium ions that possesses approximately twice the toxicity of table salt when ingested orally. In general use, TSPP is used as an emulsifier, thickening agent, buffering agent, and a dispersing agent. Chicken nuggets, crab meat, marshmallows, imitation crab, pudding, canned tuna, and numerous soy-based meat alternatives use TSPP, as do cat food and cat treat manufacturers to make their products more palatable to felines. This substance also functions as a tartar control agent in both dental floss and toothpaste by removing the calcium and magnesium found in saliva to prevent them from forming deposits on teeth. Most TSPP is synthesized via the reaction of furnace-grade phosphoric acid and sodium carbonate in order to produce disodium phosphate, which is then heated to a temperature of 450 degrees C to form TSPP. Another common method of synthesis is the molecular dehydration of dibasic sodium at 500 degrees C.
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