Sodium Benzoate, Uses and Side Effects

Many countries banned the use of sodium benzoate.  The said food preservative may  cause hyperactivity behavior when mix with certain kind of artificial colors.

From the UK Food Standard Agency:

Benzene has been detected sporadically at low levels in some soft drinks. It is thought that this occurs as a result of an interaction between the preservative sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Sodium benzoate is added as a preservative to prevent mould growing in the drinks and vitamin C may be used as an antioxidant or may be naturally present.

People who have inhaled very high levels of benzene in the workplace have been found to have an increased risk of cancer.

The research, carried out by Southampton University, suggests that eating or drinking certain mixes of these artificial food colours together with the preservative sodium benzoate could be linked to a negative effect on children’s behaviour.

According to Administrative Order No. 88-A s.1984,  Regulatory Guidelines Concerning Food Additives (Philippines):  It is considered as antimicrobial agent at its use is limited to maximum of 0.1%.  But rarely see this preservative in a wide range of juices, preserves and other acidic foods.

Sodium benzoate converts to benzoic acid when use in acidic mixtures. It has good anti-microbial features.Used in acidic foods and products (such as jams, salad dressing, juices, pickles, and carbonated drinks) to control bacteria, mold, yeasts, and other microbes. interferes with the ability to make energy.

Only effective in pH below 3.6.


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