Sodium benzoate has been used in a wide variety of products because of its antimicrobial and flavor characteristics. It is the most widely used food preservative in the world, being incorporated into both food and soft drink products.
- Preservative: Sodium benzoate is a widely used preservative found in many foods and soft drinks
- Acidic Food Flavour Enhancement: Sodium benzoate is primarily added to acidic foods to enhance their flavour. It can be found in foods such as pickles, sauces, jams and fruit juices. Foods that contain vinegar, such as salad dressings, typically contain very high levels of sodium benzoate. Benzene, a precursor to sodium benzoate, can be found in very small amounts naturally in some fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and even drinking water.
- Antifungal and Anti-bacterial: As benzoic acid, it is considered to be primarily an anti-fungal, but it shows some activity against bacteria.
- Other Uses: Sodium benzoate is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care items, such as hair products, baby wipes, toothpaste, and mouthwash (2 Trusted Source).It also has industrial uses. One of its biggest applications is to deter corrosion, such as in coolants for car engines.