Vitamin C & Sodium Benzoate

...

Processed food manufacturers often use additives to preserve flavor and freshness in products that are meant to be stored for long periods. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, and sodium benzoate are both preservatives you may find together in soft drinks and canned vegetables, such as olives and capers.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found mostly in fruits and vegetables. Your body needs vitamin C for connective tissue synthesis and immune system function. It’s also an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage due to free-radical exposure. Ascorbic acid is one form of vitamin C that’s used as a food preservative because its antioxidant properties also protect foods from oxidation when they're exposed to the air.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate is added to acid foods such as jams, soft drinks, salads, relishes and sauerkraut to prevent spoilage due to bacteria, mold and other microorganisms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers sodium benzoate and benzoic acid to be safe at levels normally consumed by the general public.

Benzene

Benzene is a cancer-causing chemical that is released from the emissions of cars and trucks and from burning coal and oil. Small amounts of benzene can form in foods that contain both vitamin C and sodium benzoate when they are exposed to heat or light -- or potentially after prolonged storage.

Benzene in Beverages

Information published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the agency detected benzene levels above 5 parts per billion in 10 soft drink and beverage products in 2005. Soft drink manufacturers reformulated their products and follow up samples found benzene levels below 1.5 ppb, which is below the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level of 5 ppb for drinking water.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.