Sodium benzoate's chemical formula is C6H5COONa. That's a total of seven atoms of carbon, five atoms of hydrogen, two atoms of oxygen, and one atom of sodium. The molecular weight of this substance is 144.12 grams per mol. Sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid. One gram of this salt is soluble in 2 milliliters of water, in 75 milliliters of alcohol, and in 50 milliliters of 90% alcohol. The salt is insoluble in ether. A typical aqueous solution will be slightly alkaline and typically has a sweetish astringent taste.

This substance is used as a preservative in drinks.

Sodium Benzoate is also sold under the brand name Ucephan as a Antihyperammonemic drug.

In combination with Sodium Phenylacetate it works to lower levels of ammonia in the blood by reducing the amount of the chemical formed during protein breakdown.

It interferes with the action of penicillin and may have the following side effects, especially at high doses:

Continual vomiting; feeling of faintness; rapid fall in blood pressure; shortness of breath; unusual drowsiness; unusual irritability.

It's no good for people suffering from edema or kidney problems.

In short, if you cut yourself and it smells like urine, drink a case of Mountain Dew and get to the hospital.

A compound used to preserve food and drinks. For many people it's tasteless, but for some it has a range of tastes -- bitter, sour, sweet, salty, or some combination of these. Because of this it often appears in biology labs, but is not as common as phenylthiocarbamide because the factors causing these different reactions aren't as well known.

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