Sodium Benzoate


Sodium Benzoate naturally occurs in fruits such as cranberry and bilberry, as well as in seafood and dairy. It can also be synthetically produced through a chemical reaction between sodium hydroxide and benzoic acid.

Also Known As

This preservative is known by several names, indicating its chemical composition and regulatory identity:

  • E211
  • Benzoate of soda

These designations reflect its widespread use and recognition in the food industry.


Sodium Benzoate is employed primarily as a preservative in various food and beverage products. Its applications include:

  • Preserving a wide range of foods and beverages by inhibiting the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, yeast, and molds.
  • Used in acidic foods such as salad dressings, carbonated drinks, jams, and fruit juices to extend shelf life.
  • Occasionally found in personal care products and medications for its antimicrobial properties.


Sodium Benzoate, the sodium salt of benzoic acid, serves as a key food preservative when dissolved in water. Its ability to inhibit microbial growth helps maintain the safety and longevity of food products, making it a staple ingredient in the food processing industry.

Key points include:

  • Widely used to preserve foods and beverages by preventing microbial growth.
  • Compatible with acidic products, enhancing its effectiveness as a preservative.
  • Can be naturally found in certain fruits and also synthetically produced for commercial use.

Common Dosage

The FDA permits a maximum concentration of 0.1% sodium benzoate by weight in foods and beverages. This regulation ensures its safe use as a preservative, balancing efficacy with consumer safety.


Sodium Benzoate plays a critical role in the food industry as a preservative, extending the shelf life of many products while ensuring their safety. Its versatility and efficacy in inhibiting microbial growth, alongside regulatory approval for its use, underscore its importance.

Key summary points include:

  • Effectively preserves foods and beverages, preventing spoilage.
  • Permitted by the FDA at concentrations up to 0.1% by weight.
  • Found naturally in some fruits and produced synthetically for commercial use.

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