Sodium Benzoate

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Uses

Preservative

  • Sodium benzoate is a preservative. As a food additive, sodium benzoate has the E number E211. It is bacteriostatic and fungistaticunder acidic conditions. 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), and condiments. It is also used as a preservative in medicines and cosmetics. Concentration as a food preservative is limited by the FDA in the U.S. to 0.1% by weight.[5] Sodium benzoate is also allowed as an animal food additive at up to 0.1%, according to AFCO's official publication.
  • Sodium benzoate has been replaced by potassium sorbate in the majority of soft drinks in the United Kingdom.

Pharmaceutical applications

  • 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 is used to treat hyperammonemia.

Other uses

  • Sodium benzoate is also used in fireworks as a fuel in whistle mix, a powder that emits a whistling noise when compressed into a tube and ignited.