Benzoic Acid In Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

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During pregnancy, women need to be extra cautious about what they consume. One such ingredient that has been a topic of discussion is benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is a common food preservative used in a variety of products from soft drinks to pickles. In this article, we will discuss the safety of consuming benzoic acid during pregnancy.

What is Benzoic Acid?

Benzoic acid is a white crystalline powder that is commonly used as a food preservative. It is found naturally in some fruits and berries, but it is also produced synthetically. Benzoic acid is used to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast, and fungi in food and drinks.

Is Benzoic Acid Safe During Pregnancy?

The safety of consuming benzoic acid during pregnancy is a topic of debate. While the FDA has deemed it safe for consumption in limited quantities, some studies suggest that high doses of benzoic acid could have negative effects on fetal development.

Studies on Benzoic Acid and Pregnancy

One study conducted on rats found that high doses of benzoic acid could lead to fetal malformations. However, the study used much larger doses of benzoic acid than what is typically found in food and drinks. Another study conducted on human cells found that benzoic acid could disrupt the endocrine system, which could have negative effects on fetal development.

How Much Benzoic Acid is Safe During Pregnancy?

The FDA has set a limit of 0.1% for benzoic acid in food and drinks. This means that consuming products with benzoic acid in moderation is generally considered safe during pregnancy.

What Products Contain Benzoic Acid?

Benzoic acid is commonly found in soft drinks, fruit juices, pickles, and other acidic foods. Check the ingredients label of the products you consume to see if they contain benzoic acid.


Consuming benzoic acid in moderation is considered safe during pregnancy. However, it is important to be aware of the products that contain benzoic acid and to consume them in moderation. As always, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet during pregnancy.


1. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of benzoic acid (E 210), sodium benzoate (E 211), potassium benzoate (E 212) and calcium benzoate (E 213) as food additives.

2. Effects of benzoic acid on the endocrine system in rats.

3. Benzoic acid induces oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage in human cells.