Food additives are widely used by the food industry to increase the product shelf life and/or attribute as well as enhance certain characteristics of particular foods, which are often lost during processing. With the advent of modern life, more and more additives have been employed by the food industry. Despite their wide use, they are substances that may cause adverse reactions like any other drug. This study aimed to contextualize through a review of the literature, the scientific evidence on the risks entailed by the consumption of food additives, special regards to sodium benzoate. This additive is a sodium salt, which is commonly used as a chemical preservative in foods, and it is found mainly in industrialized drinks/beverages. Sodium benzoate is considered safe by major regulatory agencies, but there is still controversy over its effects on human health.
Key words: Industrialized foods, preservatives, toxicity, sodium benzoate.
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