Is Sodium Benzoate Safe to Eat Home News Industry News
Is Sodium Benzoate Safe to Eat
Yes, its safety has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). as well as Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).


Sodium benzoate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and can be used as an antimicrobial agent and flavoring agent in food with the maximum usage of 0.1% (9). It is also GRAS when used as a preservative in feed. (10)

Sodium benzoate (E211) is listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as an authorised food additive and categorized in “Additives other than colours and sweeteners” (11).

Safety re-evaluation in 2016
Base on the studies of genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and other researches, EFSA considered that the use of sodium benzoate does not raise a health concern and derived an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 5 mg/kg bw per day (expressed as benzoic acid) in 2016. (12)

Approved uses
In Food

It can be found in a lot of food labels with its name or E211. The approved food uses are listed in the same categories with benzoic acid, sodium and calcium benzoate (E210-E213) with the maximum used levels range from 150 to 6,000 mg/kg. It can also be combined with sorbic acid-sorbates (E 200–202) and p-hydroxybenzoates (E 214–219). (13)

Silage Additive

EFSA concluded that sodium benzoate was safe for the consumer when used as a silage additive in pigs, poultry, bovines, ovines, goats, rabbits and horses. Meanwhile, it reduces pH and increases the preservation of dry matter and therefore improve silage production. (14)

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