FAO Nutrition Meetings
    Resort Series No. 44A
    WHO/Food Add./68.33


    Geneva, 21-28 August 1967

    The Eleventh Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
    Additives is published as FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series,
    1967, No. 44; Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., 1968, 383. This
    Report contains general considerations, including the principles
    adopted for the evaluation, and a summary of the results of the
    evaluations of a number of food additives. Additional information,
    such as biological data and a toxicological evaluation, considered at
    that meeting, is to be found in this document.

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    World Health Organization


    Chemical name            Benzoic aldehyde

    Empirical formula        C7H6O

    Structural Formula


    Molecular weight         106.12

    Definition               Benzaldehyde contains not less than 97
                             per cent. C7H6O.

    Description              Benzaldehyde occurs as a constituent of
                             oils of bitter almond, peach and apricot
                             kernel. It is usually prepared
                             synthetically. It is a colourless liquid
                             having an odour resembling that of bitter
                             almond oil, and a burning taste. It is
                             affected by light and it oxidizes in air
                             to benzoic acid.

    Biological Data

    Biochemical aspects

         Benzaldehyde is hydrogenated in the rabbit to benzoyl alcohol,
    which is further oxidized to benzoic acid and excreted as hippuric
    acid (Bray et al., 1951).

    Acute toxicity


    Animal          Route      LD50              References

    Rat             oral       1300              Taylor et al, 1964

    Rat             s.c.       5000 (LD)         Macht, 1922

    Guinea-pig      oral       1000              Jenner et al, 1914

         Groups of 3 male and 3 female rats were given one-third of the
    LD50 intragastrically daily for 4 days. Animals were then killed and
    the livers examined for gross changes. None were detected (Taylor et
    al., 1964). The fatal human dose in an acute poisoning case was
    estimated at 50-60 ml (Dadlez, 1928).

    Short-term studies

         Rat. Groups of 5 male and 5 female rats were given 0 and 0.1
    per cent. in their diet for 27-28 weeks and 1 per cent. for 16 weeks
    without tissue damage as determined by gross and histological
    examination (Hagan et al., 1964).

    Long-term studies

         None available.


         The evaluation is based on information concerning the metabolic
    pathway and on the short-term studies. It is expressed in terms of the
    final metabolite, benzoic acid.


    Level causing no toxicological effect

         Rat: 1 per cent. (= 10 000 ppm) in the diet, equivalent to 500
    mg/kg body-weight/day.

    Estimate of acceptable daily intake for man

                                            mg/kg body-weight1

              Unconditional acceptance            0-5


    Bray, H. G., Thorpe, W. V. & White, K. (1951) Biochem. J., 48, 88

    Dadlez, J. (1928) Compt. Rend. Hebd. Seance Acad. Sci. Paris, 99,

    Hagan. E. C., Hansen, W. H., Fitzhugh, O. G., Jenner, P. M., Jones, W.
    I., Taylor, J. M., Long, E. L., Nelson, A. A. & Brouwer, J. B. (1967)
    Fd Cosmet. Toxicol., 5.(2), 141

    Jenner, P. M., Hagan, E. C., Taylor, J. M., Cook, E. L. & Fitzhugh, O.
    G. (1964) Fd Cosmet. Toxicol., 2, 327

    Macht, (1922) Arch. int. pharmacod., 27, 163

    Taylor, J. M., Jenner, P. M. & Jones, W. I. (1964) Toxicol. appl.
    Pharmacol., 6, 378


    1 Calculated as total benzoic acid from all food additive sources.

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Benzaldehyde (ICSC)
       BENZALDEHYDE (JECFA Evaluation)