What Foods Contain Potassium Benzoate?


Potassium benzoate is often used as a preservative in commercial foods and beverages to prevent bacteria, yeast and mold from growing and prolong the shelf life of the products. The ingredient list on the label of a product will list potassium benzoate if it's an ingredient used.

Drinks With Potassium Benzoate

  • Potassium benzoate is used as a preservative in soda and juices that are artificially sweetened. If the juice or soda also contains vitamin C or ascorbic acid, a carcinogenic compound called benzene is formed when combined with the potassium benzoate. Although benzene is known to cause cancer in humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims that the amounts occurring in beverages do not present a health risk for consumers.

Food Containing Potassium Benzoate

  • A study published in the "Journal of Chromatography A" in 2000 found that potassium benzoate was also present in apple juice, applesauce, soy sauce and peanut butter. Potassium benzoate is used commonly in processed foods, such as salad dressings, syrups and jams, as well as in canned items like olives and pickles. Since it's used in so many food items, it's a good idea to read the label on the back of an item to see if it contains potassium benzoate.

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