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Beverages 2018, 4(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages4020033

Potential Safety Issues Surrounding the Use of Benzoate Preservatives

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beverages Additives)
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Abstract

Sodium benzoate (E211) and potassium sorbate (E202) have long been used for large-scale beverage preservation, yet it is potassium sorbate that is now the preferred option for most soft drink manufacturers. Partly this is a reaction to the discovery that benzoate can cause drinks to contain traces of the carcinogen benzene. This benzene is thought to have its origins in a free-radical catalysed reaction of the benzoate with ascorbic acid. However, there may be additional benefits to using potassium sorbate rather than the benzoate preservatives in beverages. In children, a high dietary intake of sodium benzoate may be associated with asthma, allergy, or attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder. Benzoate is now known to influence cognitive functioning. By acting as a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO), thereby reducing the DAAO-catalysed degradation of D-serine, it can upregulate the activity of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors in the brain. A high benzoate intake might also generate glycine deficiency, lack of glycine generally exerting a negative impact on brain neurochemistry. There are therefore strong grounds for suspecting that dietary benzoate can have neuromodulatory (mood, learning, and personality) effects and influence child hyperactivity disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: preservatives; sodium benzoate; potassium sorbate; hippuric acid; benzene; urea cycle disorder therapy; cognitive functioning; hypoglycinemia preservatives; sodium benzoate; potassium sorbate; hippuric acid; benzene; urea cycle disorder therapy; cognitive functioning; hypoglycinemia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Piper, P.W. Potential Safety Issues Surrounding the Use of Benzoate Preservatives. Beverages 2018, 4, 33.

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