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    FAO Nutrition Meetings
    Report Series No. 40A,B,C
    WHO/Food Add./67.29




    TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF SOME
    ANTIMICROBIALS, ANTIOXIDANTS, EMULSIFIERS,
    STABILIZERS, FLOUR-TREATMENT AGENTS, ACIDS AND BASES





    The content of this document is the result of the deliberations of the
    Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives which met at Rome,
    13-20 December, 19651 Geneva, 11-18 October, 19662




                   

    1 Ninth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
    Additives, FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1966 No. 40; 
    Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., 1966, 339

    2 Tenth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
    Additives, FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1967, in press; 


    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    World Health Organization
    1967


    BENZOIC ACID

    Chemical name            Benzoic acid; benzenecarboxylic acid; phenyl
                             carboxylic acid

    Empirical formula        C7H6O2

    Structural formula

    MOLECULAR STRUCTURE 1

    Molecular weight         122.12

    Definition               Benzoic acid contains not less than 99.5 per
                             cent. of C7H6O2.

    Description              Benzoic acid is a white crystalline solid. It
                             may have not more than a faint characteristic
                             odour.

    Use                      As an antimicrobial agent.

    Biological Data

    (See Sodium Benzoate)

    POTASSIUM BENZOATE

    Chemical Name            Potassium benzoate; potassium salt of benzene
                             carboxylic acid; potassium salt of phenyl
                             carboxylic, acid

    Empirical formula        C7H5O2K . 3H2O

    Structural formula

    MOLECULAR STRUCTURE 2

    Molecular weight         214.27

    Definition               Potassium benzoate contains not less than
                             99.0 per cent. C7H5O2K after drying at 105

    Description              White crystalline powder.

    Use                      As an antimicrobial agent.

    Biological Data

    (See Sodium Benzoate)

    SODIUM BENZOATE

    Chemical Name            Sodium benzoate; sodium salt of benzene
                             carboxylic acid; sodium salt of
                             phenylcarboxylic acid

    Empirical formula        C7H5O2Na

    Structural formula

    MOLECULAR STRUCTURE 3

    Molecular weight         144.11

    Definition               Sodium benzoate, after drying for 4 hours at
                             105, contains, not less than 99 per cent. of
                             C7H6O2Na.

    Description              Sodium benzoate is a white, almost odourless,
                             crystalline solid.

    Use                      As an antimicrobial agent.

    Biological Data

         The biological data on benzoic acid and sodium benzoate as given
    in the Sixth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
    Additives (FAO/WHO, 1962) are, relevant for the evaluation of
    potassium benzoate. Since the publication of that report the following
    relevant additional information has become available.

    Short-term studies

         Rat. Groups of 3 male and 3 female rats ware fed 0, 2 and 5 per
    cent. sodium benzoate in the diet for 28 days. All animals on the 5
    per cent. level died during the first 2 weeks showing
    hyper-excitability, urinary incontinence and convulsion. Male rats at
    the 2 per cent. level showed significant decrease in body-weight. The
    food Intake of male and female animals was decreased at the 2 per
    cent. level compared with controls (Fanelli & Halliday, 1963).

    Evaluation

         There is no reason to believe that potassium benzoate differs
    toxicologically from benzoic acid and sodium benzoate when these are
    used as food additives. The estimated acceptable daily intakes of
    benzoic acid and its sodium salt for man given in the Sixth Report are
    therefore considered applicable to the potassium salt.

    Estimate of acceptable daily intakes for man

                                  mg/kg body weight1

       Unconditional acceptance          0-5

       Conditional acceptance            5-10



                   

    1 As sum of benzoic acid and potassium and sodium benzoate
    (calculated as benzoic acid).

    References

    Fanelli, G. M. & Halliday, S. L. (1963) Arch. int.
    Pharmacodyn.,144, 120

    FAO/WHO (1962) FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, No. 31;Wld
    Hlth Org. techn.Rep. Ser., 228


    


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Benzoic acid (ICSC)
       BENZOIC ACID (JECFA Evaluation)
       Benzoic acid (SIDS)