Methyl Benzoate: Where Is This Ester Used? Here’s More Information About Benzoic Acid

Methyl benzoate is an ester that has a sweet smell and is used in a variety of products. It is found in some foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Here’s what you should know about methyl benzoate and its uses.
menthyl benzoate

What’s Methyl Benzoate?

Methyl benzoate, also known as methyl benzenecarboxylate or benzoic acid, is a chemical compound in the form of a clear liquid with a sweet, aromatic odor. It is poorly soluble in water, but soluble in most organic solvents.

Methyl benzoate is used as a solvent and as a flavor and fragrance ingredient in food, cosmetics, and personal care products. It can also be used as an insecticide. The CAS number (a unique number identifier in chemistry) for methyl benzoate is 93-58-3.

How Is Methyl Benzoate Made?

Methyl benzoate is produced by the methylation of benzoic acid and is an aromatic ester. Benzoic acid is first treated with methanol in the presence of a catalyst such as sulfuric acid. The resulting product is then purified to remove any residual methanol and other impurities.

What Is the Use of Methyl Benzoate?

Methyl benzoate has a variety of uses. It is used as a solvent, and as a flavor and fragrance ingredient in food and personal care products. It can also be used as an insecticide.

In Food

Methyl benzoate is used as a flavoring agent in candy, desserts, baked goods, and beverages. Benzoic acid can be found in fruits such as cranberries, prunes, bananas, kiwi, oranges and watermelon. It’s part of what gives them their taste.

In Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Methyl benzoate is found in a number of cosmetics and personal care products. There are many products available on the market which contain this compound. It is used as a fragrance ingredient, as well as an insect repellent. It is often used in perfumes, colognes, soap, and other scented products. Overall, methyl benzoate is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products.

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Methyl benzoate is also a good preservative – it works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can cause infections and spoilage. Methyl benzoate is also used as a fragrance ingredient in some products. This is because it has a sweet, floral scent that can be used to mask the smell of other ingredients. Methyl benzoate is safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products when used according to label directions.

Methyl Benzoate Safety 

Methyl benzoate is safe when used as intended. However, it can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. If swallowed, methyl benzoate can cause stomach pain and vomiting. If inhaled, it can irritate the nose and throat. If it comes into contact with the skin, it can cause irritation and redness. Methyl benzoate should be kept out of reach of children and pets. It should also be stored in a cool, dry place.

Is Benzoic Acid Safe for Skin?

While benzoic acid is generally considered to be safe, there are some concerns about its use on the skin. Some studies have shown that benzoic acid can be absorbed through the skin, which could lead to accumulation in the body. There is also some evidence that benzoic acid can be irritating to the skin. 

Generally speaking, benzoic acid is safe to use on the skin. However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid using products that contain this ingredient. If you experience any irritation, discontinue use.

Benzoic acid is the precursor of parabens, which are a type of preservative. Parabens are controversial because they can mimic estrogen in the body. This may lead to health concerns, such as cancer. If you are concerned about the potential health risks of parabens, or you have a sensitive skin, you may want to avoid products that contain this ingredient.

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