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Sodium Benzoate

sodium salt of benzoic acid

Sodium Benzoate

Other Name(s):

CAS# 532-32-1; E 211

Sodium benzoate is made using benzoic acid (a naturally occurring compound) and lye (also, a naturally occurring substance).

Is Sodium Benzoate Faithful to Nature?


Sodium benzoate can be used safely within very strict concentration limits to prevent the spoilage of water-based cosmetics but it is associated with too many health concerns in foods to be suitable for Faithful to Nature.

Benefits: Why is Sodium Benzoate Used?


Sodium benzoate prevents the growth of (mostly) gram positive bacteria.

Food Preservative

Sodium Benzoate is used as a preservative is a vast range of food items.

Cosmetic Preservative

Sodium Benzoate is used in many cosmeric, skincare and personal care items, certification bodies accept it as a natural preservative option.

Other Applications

Sodium Benzoate is used as an antiseptic medicine as well as a rust and mildew inhibitor.

Sodium benzoate is one of the most used preservatives in the world. It can be found in cosmetics, skincare products and factory foods.

Sodium benzoate can be made by reacting benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide.

The World Health Organisation has indicated the acceptable daily intake (ADI) level for sodium benzoate at 5 mg per kg of bodyweight. With the average South African’s bodyweight being around 60 kg, the WHO ADI is 300 mg, and a diet consisting of a lot of fast foods, carbonated drinks and factory foods it’s possible to exceed this limit quite easily.

The European Commision for Health & Consumer Protection recognises sodium benzoate as safe with the following upper concentration limits: cosmetic rinse-off products (2.5%); cosmetic oral-care products (1.7%); cosmetic leave-on products (0.5%).

The United States Food & Drug Administration indicates that foodstuffs should contain no more than 0.1% sodium benzoate by weight. However, the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that they’ve observed factory food manufacturers using concentration as high as 0.2%.

Sodium benzoate doesn’t kill bacteria or fungi but inhibits their growth. Furthermore, it can’t inhibit the growth of all bacteria or fungi and is frequently used in conjunction with potassium sorbate to provide broad-spectrum preservation.

Notice: The information provided here is not intended as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

Products Containing Sodium Benzoate

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