Benzoic Acid Uses

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What is Benzoic Acid?

Benzoic acid refers to a white solid substance and is considered a simple aromatic carboxylic acid. The name of benzoic acid is taken from the word gum benzoin, which was its only source for the longest time. It has been found occurring naturally in plants and it serves as the immediate biosynthesis for a large number of secondary metabolites. Benzoic acid also has salt in it used for preserving food. Benzoic acid is found in yoghurts, apples, strawberries, prunes, and cranberries. In some foods, benzoic acid may leave a disagreeable taste that is described as burning or peppery. 

Benzoic Acid Formula: C7H6O2


The structure of benzoic acid is a complex one and its molecule consists of a ring that is known as benzene ring and a carboxyl group is linked to it. Benzoic acid consists of 15 atoms out of which it has 7 carbon atoms, 6 hydrogen atoms, and 2 hydrogen atoms. 

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Properties of Benzoic Acid

Benzoic Acid Formula

C7H6O2 or C6 H5COOH

Molecular Weight/Molar Mass




Boiling Point


Melting Point


2) Physical Properties

  • Benzoic acid is colourless in its solid situation and is crystalline.

  • The crystal structure of the compound is monoclinic.

  • There is a presence of an aromatic ring that gives the compound a very pleasant odour.

  • The density of benzoic acid reduces to 1.075 when it reaches a very high temperature.

3) Chemical Properties

  • Benzoic acid is soluble when put in water.

  • It is also soluble in various other chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, benzene, alcohol, and acetone.

  • The dissociation of the benzoic acid is correspondent to 4.2 at a constant level of (pKa)

  • Benzoic acid’s reaction only occurs at the aromatic ring or when it is present at the carboxyl group.

Benzoic Acid Uses

Benzoic acid can be used in various places like

  • Benzoic acid is used in the manufacturing process of phenol.

  • Benzoic acid is also used in the production of various ointments that can treat any kind of fungal infection diseases in the skin.

  • It is also used as a source of preservation by the food industry.

  • It is also an important ingredient in many fashion cosmetic items like lipstick and lip gloss.

  • It is also used as a precursor for benzoyl chloride.

  • One of the major components of face wash, toothpaste, and mouthwash is benzoic acid.

  • It is also used to manufacture insect repellents and dyes.

Benzoic Acid Ointment Uses

Benzoic acid along with salicylic acid helps to prevent various infections that are caused by dangerous bacteria. Salicylic acid protects the body from shedding dead and rough skin cells. Benzoic acid with salicylic forms a combination of medications that can be used to treat inflammation and skin irritation that is caused by burns, fungal infections, insect bites. 

There are few things that you must keep in mind during benzoic acid ointment use. You must avoid using dry or wet packs on the affected area of the skin. This can damage the cure that the medicine was going to do in the affected area. Also, avoid using other medicines in the affected area where you apply the benzoic acid. 

Benzoic Acid for Skin

Benzoic acid appears in cherry bark, cassia bark, anise, tea, and raspberries naturally. The benefits of this compound on the skin include reducing ageing in women. It also has moisturizing and soothing properties. Also, an important form of benzoic acid that is known as veratric acid has properties of high concentrative antioxidants in them that help to neutralize all the free-radicals appearing in our surrounding environment. Benzoic acid is also present in a variety of cosmetic products that are applied to the face. 

Benzoic Acid in Food

Benzoic acid is used as a food preservative for soft drinks and fruit juices that have an acidic pH level present in them. It is present in the form of sodium benzoate and sodium salt. Benzoic acid in food is regarded as safe and healthy. 

Benzoic Acid uses in Pharmacy

Benzoic acid is also used in the pharmaceutical industry as a preservative drug. It is present in various baby products, nail and hair products, skin products, bath products and is preferred by many doctors. It is also referred to as antifungal, antimicrobial and is also present in capsule form. 

Did You Know?

  • Benzoic acid is naturally present in many forms. One of the largest naturally occurring sources is from the gum that is present in the Chinese Balsam tree which is also called gum benzoin. 

  • Benzoic acid was first discovered by Nostradamus in the early sixteenth century. 

Interesting Fact

Benzoic acid also has a very niche use. In laboratories, it is used as a common standard by the lab instructors to calibrate a bomb calorimeter. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Name the Medicinal Products that contain Benzoates or Benzoic Acid.

Ans: Benzoic acid is used in many medical products in the form of salicylic acid but it is more commonly used as a salt in medicines. Sodium benzoate is typically present as an excipient in many medicinal products that are consumed orally, injected, or topically taken. There is a long history behind the use of benzoic acid as an antifungal agent in various therapeutic preparations. The compound is also administered orally or intravenously in form of an active substance to the children or infants for treating hyperammonemia that results from disorders caused by urea. Thus, there is a vast scope of benzoic acid uses in pharmacy. 

2. Is Benzoic Acid found in Beverages?  How does it Get into Beverages?

Ans: Benzoic acid can be found in very low ppb levels in some of the beverages that include both ascorbic acid as well as benzoate salts/erythorbic acid, also recognized as d-ascorbic acid. Exposure to light as well as heat can result in stimulating the absorption of the compound in few beverages which have ascorbic or benzoate salts. Potassium, as well as sodium, can be added to beverages to stop the growth of fungus, yeast and bacteria.