Benzoic acid is a white solid with the formula C₆H₅CO₂H.
It is the simplest aromatic carboxylic acid.
The name is derived from gum benzoin, which was for a long time its only source.
Benzoic acid occurs naturally in many plants and serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of many secondary metabolites
- Benzoic acid (BA) is a commonly used antimicrobial preservative in food and beverages, especially in carbonated beverages
- As it presents its strongest antibacterial activity at pH 2.5–4.0.
- BA has inhibitory effects on the proliferation of bacteria and yeasts, a major cause of food spoilage.
- Benzoic acid and salicylic acid topical (for the skin) is a combination medicine used to treat skin irritation and inflammation caused by burn