Now we should all be aware by now that salt should probably be avoided when it comes to sitting down for a meal. The next time you have the urge to grab that shaker on the kitchen table, think about this. Sodium Benzoate is a sodium salt that occurring naturally in some foods, but is also widely used as a chemical preservative. It is used mainly as a food preservative, but is also found in cosmetics, dyes, pharmaceuticals, industrial settings. Sodium Benzoate is a common ingredient in highly processed foods such as carbonated sodas, vinegar, fruit juices; in mixed ingredients like salad dressings; and to stop the fermentation process in wines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Health Protection Branch in Canada (HPB) report that in low doses it is safe for consumption, although when combined with ascorbic acid it forms the chemical benzene, a suspected carcinogen.
Sodium Benzoate In Food:
Sodium Benzoate preserves food by having anti-fungal properties, protecting foods from invasion by fungi that cause food to spoil and potentially make you sick. Sodium Benzoate works by entering the individual cells in the food and balancing its pH level, increasing the overall acidity of the food. By lowering the intracellular pH of certain foods, sodium Benzoate creates an environment in which fungi cannot grow and spread.
According to the International Program on Chemical Safety, sodium benzoate is heavily used by the soft drink industry due to the demand of high-fructose corn syrup in carbonated drinks. Sodium benzoate increases the acidity of soft drinks, which also increases the intensity of flavor you get from the high-fructose corn syrup. On the back of a soda can, you can find sodium benzoate in the ingredients list as E211, which is the number assigned to it as a food additive.
Side Effects Of sodium Benzoate:
Of the numerous noted side effects, I’ve compiled a list of the most common. Be sure to do your due diligence and try and eliminate sodium benzoate from your diet. Some of the most common side effects include:
Unfortunately, many of the preservatives used in common food products have raised health concerns although sodium benzoate appears to be under the most scrutiny right now. To reduce your risk of exposure, read nutrition labels closely and avoid products that contain sodium benzoate. Be particularly careful to avoid buying products high in vitamin C that have this unhealthy preservative and never put any product containing sodium benzoate under heat. To avoid the dangers of food preservatives entirely, avoid processed and packaged foods and make your own fresh items at home.
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