Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Assessment of Benzoic Acid, and Benzene in

Marcelino Kongo J, Ana Partidário, Isabel Duthoit, Carlos Moniz and Duarte Ponte

Traditionally made red hot pepper products (“pimenta-da-terra”), from ten different producers were assessed as potential sources of benzene, benzoic acid or sodium benzoates, to find whether traditional producers comply with the established regulations concerning these preservatives. Benzene was absent in all non-cooked and cooked samples, and the values for benzoic acid ranged in 887-1685 mg kg-1, which are below maximum values (i.e., 2000 mg kg-1) established by the European Commission for this preservative in vegetable food products excluding olives. Forty percent of the samples showed complete absence of both substances. Our results suggest that producers comply in general with the established limits in using benzoic acid as a preservative in PT products. However, considering the observed wide range of values, it may be concluded that traditional processors use this preservative in a “quantum satis” non-standardized fashion, as long as it is below the established regulations. Because these preservatives may be added to many other food products, more data – including the average consumer uptake of specific foods - is required to estimate average daily benzoic acid intake for Azorian consumers