Sodium Benzoate 25kg Bag
Sodium benzoate has the chemical formula NaC7H5O2; it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid, and exists in this form when dissolved in water. Benzoic acid occurs naturally at low levels in many varieties of fruit. The substance is a white crystalline powder that gives a colourless, slightly basic (pH about 8) solution in water.
The substance has no smell, but it has a harsh, sour taste.
Sodium benzoate is a preservative. Sodium benzoate does not kill micro-organisms - it is bacteriostatic and fungistatic under acidic conditions. An important use area for sodium benzoate is as a food preservative. It is used in cold beverages (especially fizzy/aerated) products, margarine, fish and fish roe products, marmalade, jam, pickle, salad dressing and animal food.
The antimicrobial effect mainly affects yeast and bacteria and is most effective at acid conditions (pH < 4). It is less effective on mould fungus. It is therefore most widely used in acidic foods such as salad dressings (vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams and fruit juices (citric acid), pickles (vinegar), and condiments.
Sodium benzoate is also used as a preservative in various technical water-based preparations such as cosmetics, paints, adhesives, cleaning agents and metal treatment liquids. Other uses are as anti-corrosion agent in antifreeze liquids, as an additive in plastic to improve strength and transparency and as stabilizer in photo developers. Sodium benzoate is also used as raw material for chemical synthesis, eg. of benzyl benzoate.
It is also used as a preservative in medicines and cosmetics.
Concentration as a preservative is generally limited to 0.1% by weight. Sodium benzoate is also generally allowed as an animal food additive at up to 0.1%.