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What is sodium benzoate?

What is sodium benzoate

Sodium benzoate, also known as sodium benzoate, is an organic substance with the chemical formula C7H5NaO2. It is a white granule or crystalline powder, odorless or slightly benzoin smell, slightly sweet, astringent, with a relative molecular mass of 144.12, stable in air, easily soluble in water, the pH value of its aqueous solution is 8, and it is soluble in ethanol.

Benzoic acid and its salts are broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents, but its antibacterial effectiveness depends on the pH value of food. With the increase of the acidity of the medium, its bactericidal and antibacterial effects are enhanced, and it loses its bactericidal and antibacterial effects in alkaline media. The optimal pH value for its preservation is 2.5~4.0.


1. Mainly used as a food preservative, also used in the preparation of drugs, dyes, etc.

2. Used in the pharmaceutical industry and plant genetic research, and also used as a dye intermediate, bactericide and preservative.

3. Preservative; antimicrobial agent.

4. Sodium benzoate is also an important acid-type food preservative. When used, it is converted into the effective form of benzoic acid. For the scope of use and dosage, please refer to benzoic acid. In addition, it can also be used as a preservative for feed.

5. This product is used as a food additive (preservative), a bactericide in the pharmaceutical industry, a mordant in the dye industry, a plasticizer in the plastic industry, and an intermediate in organic synthesis such as spices.

6. It is used as a cosolvent for serum bilirubin tests, a food additive (preservative), a bactericide in the pharmaceutical industry, a mordant in the dye industry, a plasticizer in the plastic industry, and an intermediate in organic synthesis such as spices.

Raw materials:

Benzoic acid

Chemical formula: C6H5COOH

Benzoic acid, also known as benzoic acid, is odorless or has a slight benzoin smell. It is widely used as a food preservative. It exists naturally in cranberries, prunes, cinnamon, and cloves. It is an aromatic acid and can also be added as a spice. The undissociated acid has antibacterial activity, and is optimally active in the pH range of 2.5-4.0. Toxicology basis: LD rat oral 2530mg·kg-1 (bw) 50GRAS FDA-21CFR 184.1021ADI 0-5mg·kg-1 (bw) (total amount of benzoic acid and its salts, calculated as benzoic acid) (FAO/WHO, 1994)

Application and limit:

Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are widely used as preservatives in food processing and preservation, and are used in limited quantities in some foods in some countries. Since benzoic acid can play a role in a free state in food, it works better in strong acid foods. Benzoic acid is generally used in carbonated beverages, soy sauce, sauces, candied fruits and fruit and vegetable beverages. Benzoic acid can be used together with para-hydroxybenzoic acid esters in soy sauce and beverages to enhance the effect. Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are often used to preserve high-acid fruits, jams, beverage syrups and other acidic foods. They can be sterilized at low temperature and used together to play a synergistic role.

Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are generally limited to foods with high protein content. Sodium benzoate has the same effect on microorganisms as benzoic acid, but because it is a sodium salt, the amount required to achieve the same bactericidal effect as benzoic acid is 1.2 times that of benzoic acid.

According to the US FAO regulations, benzoic acid and sodium benzoate can be used in quick-frozen fish strips, fish nuggets, and fish stuffing products, but meat products are not included in the scope of use. In addition, in the countries listed above that allow the use of benzoic acid and sodium benzoate, these two additives are not recommended as preservatives for meat products.


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