Sodium benzoate is a white, crystalline powder that is a result of the reaction of benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide. In large concentrations, it holds an unpleasant, saline, astringent taste.
In the industry, this organic chemical is used as a preservative in which it is found naturally or synthesized in chemical laboratories. There is a variety of possibilities as to how this substance is put to use in today’s society due to it’s ubiquitous properties and low costs. Not only is this sodium benzoate present in the food industry, it is also found in products like rocket fuel, fireworks, and personal care products. Products containing this organic chemical needs to be stored in a cool, dry place to ensure it’s proper function.
In foods and pharmaceutical preparations, it is an anti-fungal preservative which extends the product’s shelf life. Anti-fungal agents are substances that destroy fungi by suppressing their ability to grow or reproduce. Food preservatives are described to be substances capable of inhibiting, impeding, or incarcerating the process of acidification, fermentation, or other deterioration of foods. This includes foods such as fast food hamburgers, carbonated drinks, salad dressings, pickles, jams, marmalades, and certain vegetable products.
Sodium benzoate is a preservative, with the E number E211. It is most widely used in acidic foods such as salad dressings (i.e. acetic acid in vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams and fruit juices (citric acid), pickles (acetic acid), condiments and frogurt toppings. It is also used as a preservative in medicines and cosmetics. Under these conditions it is converted into benzoic acid (E210), which is bacteriostatic and fungistatic. Benzoic acid is generally not used directly due to its poor water solubility.
Sodium benzoate is used as a treatment for urea cycle disorders due to its ability to bind amino acids. This leads to excretion of these amino acids and a decrease in ammonia levels. Recent research shows that sodium benzoate may be beneficial as an add-on therapy (1 gram/day) in schizophrenia. Total Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores dropped by 21% compared to placebo.
Sodium benzoate, along with phenylbutyrate, is used to treat hyperammonemia.
This organic chemical is used to produce rocket fuel and is found in fireworks as a fuel in whistle mix. In rocket fuel, sodium benzoate is usually used in place of potassium benzoate. Both rocket fuel and fireworks require whistle mix, which is a fast burning propellant. It is only suitable for amateur rockets and generally small in size such as Saturn missiles and Bottle-rockets. A sample mix contains 70% potassium chlorate and 30% sodium benzoate. Advantages to this fuel is that it has a very fast burn rate; however, that is also a disadvantage because it is too fast and hard to make large reliable motors with its instability. In positive ways, this chemical is easy to purchase and cheaper than potassium benzoate, but cautions must be kept in mind when using this product. Although this substance has limited use in the fuel industry, it is evidently still used, and is a chemical many individuals consume on a daily basis.
Surprisingly, this addictive has also made itself into tobacco and water-based paint. Sodium Benzoate acts as a preservative or corrosion inhibitor for the paint. This organic chemical does not have direct relationship towards the negative impact it poses towards the environment and human health in these products, but since it is combined with different products and the means of usage, it does.
|Free flowing white powder
|Loss on drying
|The acid & alkalinity
|Clarity of solution
|Clear & colorless