Sodium benzoate is best known as a preservative used in processed foods and beverages to extend shelf life, though it has several other uses.It’s an odorless, crystalline powder made by combining benzoic acid and sodium hydroxide. Benzoic acid is a good preservative on its own, and combining it with sodium hydroxide helps it dissolve in products (1).Sodium benzoate does not occur naturally, but benzoic acid is found in many plants, including cinnamon, cloves, tomatoes, berries, plums, apples, and cranberries .
It is used as an antifungal preservative in pharmaceutical preparations and foods. It may also be used as a test for liver function. Sodium benzoate is an organic sodium salt resulting from the replacement of the proton from the carboxy group of benzoic acid by a sodium ion.
Sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid. It is an aromatic compound denoted by the chemical formula C7H5NaO2 with a molecular weight of 144.11. In its refined form, sodium benzoate is a white, odorless compound that has a sweet, astringent taste, and is soluble in water.
Preservative. 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.