Preservative (INS 211), also known as sodium benzoate, is an artificially made food additive obtained by combining benzoic acid and sodium hydroxide. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid. It’s a white to off-white, odourless crystalline substance found in powder, flake or granule form. It is most popularly used as a preservative since it inhibits the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, mold, and other microbes in food, thus preventing spoilage.
When buying Preservative (INS 211), check the food grade mark and expiry date on the package. The package should be well-sealed and free from moisture.
Studies have linked the consumption of Preservative (INS 211) with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) in people especially children. Some people may experience allergic reactions like itching and swelling after consuming foods containing sodium benzoate.(3) Preservative (INS 211) when mixed with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) transforms into benzene, a substance that can cause cancer.(4)
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