Uses Of Benzoic Acid

Benzoic acid (C7H6O2) was first described in the 16th century. The name was derived from gum benzoin. It is a crystalline organic compound. It is white in color and belongs to the family of carboxylic acid. It was first prepared from coal tar. It is used in various ways, like manufacturing of insect repellents, below are some of the uses of benzoic acid in our life.

Uses benzoic acid

When formaldehyde is dissolved in water, it is called formalin. This formalin is used as a disinfectant in industries, preservative in some of the food products, funeral home etc. It is commonly used as PH adjuster and also controls the growth of microbes as a preservative. Benzoic acid uses in different forms are:

  • Used in food
  • Used in medicine
  • Used in treatment

Benzoic acid in food:

Food with naturally occurring benzoic acid – ripe cloves, most berries and cinnamon. E210 is used in the preservation of food. Example – salad dressings, soft drinks, fruit juices and pickles. Usually processed food has benzoic acid to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast

Uses of benzoic acid in medicine and healthcare:

Benzoic acid 210 is used in pharmaceuticals. It is used as a preservative in drugs. It is also present in baby products, skin products, cleansing products, hair and nail products, soaps, bath products, detergents etc.

Uses of benzoic acid in treatment:

It helps in the prevention of bacterial infection. It is used as an antifungal for treating diseases like ringworm and athlete’s foot. It is excreted as hippuric acid after conjugation with glycine in the liver. The excreted hippuric acid is not highly toxic. It is used in the treatment of skin irritation caused by insect bites, burns etc.

Other uses of benzoic acid:

Used in toothpaste, jam, beverages, poultry, agriculture, perfume, dye etc.

This was a brief on benzoic acid application. To know more such benzoic acid uses download the BYJU’S – the learning app.


Practise This Question

If tartaric acid is not added to baking powder, the cake will taste bitter due to the presence of