Sodium Benzoate E211
Molecular formula: C7H5NaO2
Sodium benzoate is a widely used food preservative, with an E number of E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid.
Sodium benzoate is a preservative. It is bacteriostatic and fungistatic under acidic conditions. It is used most prevalently in acidic foods such as salad dressings (vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams and fruit juices (citric acid), pickles (vinegar), and condiments. It is also found in alcohol-based mouthwash and silver polish.
Sodium benzoate is used as a treatment for urea cycle disorders due to its ability to bind amino acids.
It is also used in fireworks as a fuel in whistle mix, a powder which emits a whistling noise when compressed into a tube and ignited.