An acidity regulator. Borax has many industrial uses including
as an added ingredient in washing powder, water softeners and
soaps. Borax is also mixed with clay and other substances to
produce porcelain enamels used in pottery, and other ceramics.
It is also used in the glass industry, the textile industry,
in tanning leather, and in the manufacture of paper.
Borax, given the E number E285, is used as a food additive
in some countries, but is banned in the US. As a consequence,
certain foods, such as caviar, produced for sale in the US contain
higher levels of salt to assist preservation.] Its use as a
cooking ingredient is to add a firm rubbery texture to the food,
or as a preservative. In oriental cooking it is mostly used
for its texturing properties.
Possible risk that this may cause reproductive disorders, based
on tests with laboratory animals. Eye and skin irritant. Harmful
by ingestion. May be harmful by inhalation.