Important safety warning: "In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium and potassium benzoate may form benzene, a known carcinogen. Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed. The Food and Drug Administration was performing tests in 2006, but the Environmental Working Group is calling for the FDA to publicly release all tests and use their authority to force companies to reformulate to avoid the potential benzene forming combination."
- aromatic carboxylic acid
- acid catalysed with alcohol R-OH (benzoic acid)
- mold inhibitor (plants)
- reaction with ascorbic acid produces benzene (C6H6), an aromatic hydrocarbon (carcinogenic)