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The application of benzoic acid in the food industry and pharmaceutical field

Views: 5     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-04-16      Origin: Site


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Benzoic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula C8H7O2, widely used in industry and daily life. In the industrial field, benzoic acid is mainly used to produce phenol, which is a key raw material for manufacturing products such as plastics, resins, pharmaceuticals, and dyes. In addition, benzoic acid is also used as a preservative and has important applications in the food and beverage industry, especially in acidic media. It can be converted into active benzoic acid, exerting antibacterial and bactericidal effects. Benzoic acid and its derivatives, such as sodium benzoate, due to their broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, can effectively inhibit the growth of various bacteria below pH 4.5, thereby extending the shelf life of food.


In daily necessities, ethyl benzoate, as a commonly used ingredient of food essence, provides fruit and flower flavors, and is used to mix other flavors, such as sweet and herbal flavors. It is an important component of fruit essence. In addition, benzoic acid is also used as a detection reagent to detect metal ions such as manganese, mercury, nickel, as well as substances such as nitrate and nitrite, which plays an important role in environmental monitoring and food safety testing.


In conclusion, benzoic acid and its derivatives play an important role in industrial production and daily life, not only in the synthesis of chemical products, but also in food preservation, essence preparation, environmental monitoring and other fields.


Basic characteristics of benzoic acid


Chemical structure and physical properties:


Chemical structure: In the molecular structure of benzoic acid, the carboxyl group is directly connected to the carbon atom of the benzene ring, forming a C6H5COOH structure. A hydrogen atom on the benzene ring is replaced by a carboxyl group.


Melting point: The melting point of benzoic acid is 121-125 ° C.


Boiling point: The boiling point is 249 ° C.


Density: The relative density is approximately 1.2659 (15/4 ℃).


Solubility: Benzoic acid is slightly soluble in cold water and hexane, but soluble in organic solvents such as hot water, ethanol, ether, chloroform, and benzene.


Appearance: Benzoic acid usually appears as white needle shaped or flake shaped crystals, with an odor similar to benzene or formaldehyde.


Sublimation: At temperatures above 100 ℃, benzoic acid will sublime and can evaporate with water vapor.


Safety and usage precautions:


Health hazards: Benzoic acid vapor can be irritating to the upper respiratory tract, eyes, and skin. In general, there is no significant harm from exposure, but long-term or extensive exposure should be avoided.


Safety protection: During operation, appropriate protective equipment should be worn, such as chemical resistant gloves, protective goggles or face shields, as well as acid and alkali resistant work clothes.


First aid measures: In case of skin contact, rinse immediately with plenty of flowing water; When in contact with the eyes, the upper and lower eyelids should be opened, rinsed with flowing water or physiological saline, and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. When inhaling, it should be quickly transferred to a place with fresh air and the respiratory tract should be kept unobstructed; After ingestion, rinse your mouth, drink milk or egg white, and seek medical help.


Leakage emergency response: The contaminated area should be isolated, the fire source should be cut off, and the leaked material should be collected with a clean shovel, placed in a dry, clean, and covered container, and transported to a waste disposal site.


Waste disposal: Waste should be disposed of in accordance with relevant national and local regulations, and it is usually recommended to use incineration method for disposal.


Applications in the food industry


As a preservative:


Benzoic acid and its sodium salts (sodium benzoate) are commonly used preservatives in the food industry, which can effectively inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, and yeast.


Due to its broad-spectrum antibacterial properties, benzoic acid is added to various foods and beverages, such as carbonated beverages, fruit juices, jams, soy sauce, pickled foods, etc., to maintain the freshness and taste of the products.


Extend food shelf life:


Benzoic acid slows down the rate of food spoilage and spoilage by reducing microbial activity in food, effectively extending the shelf life of food.


Under suitable pH conditions (usually between 2.5 and 4.5), benzoic acid has the best anti-corrosion effect, which can significantly reduce the number of microorganisms in food and reduce the risk of food spoilage.


Improving food safety:


By inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms, benzoic acid helps to prevent foodborne diseases and improve food safety.


The use of benzoic acid is strictly regulated to ensure that its addition in food does not have adverse effects on consumer health.


The safety of benzoic acid has been recognized by food safety regulatory agencies in multiple countries and regions, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), all of which believe that using benzoic acid within prescribed limits is safe.


Applications in the pharmaceutical field


Raw materials for synthetic drugs:


Benzoic acid is an important raw material for synthesizing various drugs, for example, it can be used to produce nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). In addition, benzoic acid is also used to synthesize other types of drugs, such as antifungal drugs and local anesthetics.


Antifungal and local anesthetics:


Benzoic acid and its derivatives have antifungal properties and can be used to treat skin fungal infections such as tinea corporis, tinea manus, and tinea pedis. Benzoic acid can also be combined with salicylic acid to form benzoic acid salicylic acid ointment, which is used to treat adult skin fungal diseases.


In the application of local anesthetics, benzoic acid can serve as a precursor for the synthesis of certain local anesthetics. For example, Benzocaine is a commonly used oral anesthetic that contains derivatives of benzoic acid in its chemical structure.

Adjuvant therapy and drug formulations:


Benzoic acid also has applications in adjuvant therapy, for example, it can be used as an adjunct in certain drug formulations to enhance drug stability or improve its physical properties. In addition, benzoic acid can also serve as a solubilizer or stabilizer for drugs, improving their bioavailability and efficacy.


The Future Development of Benzoic Acid


Technological innovation and application expansion:


Technological innovation is a key factor driving the development of the benzoic acid industry. With the continuous progress of chemical technology, the production technology of benzoic acid is also constantly upgrading. Efficient and environmentally friendly production technology will become an important direction for the future development of the benzoic acid industry. For example, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry is studying environmentally friendly methods for preparing benzoic acid and its derivatives, which will help reduce environmental pollution in the production process.


The application of benzoic acid in fields such as medicine, food, and cosmetics will continue to expand. With the upgrading of consumption and the development of emerging markets, the benzoic acid industry is expected to further expand its application areas, such as in cosmetics, food additives, pharmaceuticals, and other fields, which will continue to grow.


Environmental and health challenges:


The strengthening of environmental regulations will encourage enterprises to focus on green production and sustainable development. The production and application of benzoic acid need to comply with environmental standards and reduce its impact on the environment. For example, the industrial chain of sodium benzoate industry mainly involves two aspects: upstream raw materials and downstream applications. Enterprises need to ensure the environmental protection of raw materials and the health and safety of products.


The safety of benzoic acid is also an important consideration for future development. Although benzoic acid is considered a safe food additive, if the human body ingests a large amount of food containing benzoic acid or sodium benzoate residues that exceed the standard for a long time, it may cause liver accumulation poisoning and endanger liver health. Therefore, enterprises need to strictly comply with relevant regulations and standards when producing and using benzoic acid to ensure the health and safety of consumers.




Comprehensive evaluation:


In the food industry, benzoic acid is mainly used as a preservative, effectively extending the shelf life of food and maintaining its freshness. In the field of medicine, benzoic acid can be used to synthesize local anesthetics and antifungal drugs, making significant contributions to human health.


The production process and technology of benzoic acid are constantly advancing, and the challenges of environmental protection and health have also driven innovation and upgrading of production technology. For example, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry is studying environmentally friendly methods for preparing benzoic acid and its derivatives.


Future outlook:


It is expected that the benzoic acid market will maintain steady growth, and technological innovation will become a key driving force to promote product upgrading and quality improvement. The global sales and revenue of benzoic acid are expected to continue to grow, especially in food and pharmaceutical applications.


With the increasing concern of consumers for food safety and health, the production and application of benzoic acid will pay more attention to environmental protection and safety. This may include developing new production methods to reduce environmental pollution, as well as strengthening the safety assessment and regulation of benzoic acid and its derivatives.


The benzoic acid industry in China has enormous room for improvement. With the advancement of science and technology, production technology will make a qualitative leap, and the future development prospects are very promising. At the same time, the increase in the monthly average price of benzoic acid in the Chinese market also reflects the growth of market demand and the development of the industry.


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