Attn: Dr. R. Ramakrishna.
Deputy Drug Controller (
CDSCO West Zone,
Directorate General of Health Services
Ministry Health & Family welfare (Govt. of India.)
4th floor, FDA Bhavan, GMSD compound,
Mumbai Central, Mumbai 400 008
Subject: Imports of Sodium Benzoate from
We would like to draw your attention on the above subject.
Sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid. In its refined form, sodium benzoate is a white, odorless compound that has a sweetish, astringent taste. It is soluble in water. Sodium benzoate has antimicrobial characteristics it is typically used as a preservative in food products, making its use most prevalent in foods such as preserves, salad dressings, carbonated drinks, jams, fruit juices, pickles, and sauces etc.
Sodium benzoate is used in many soft drinks and can be identified on the label of the bottle or can as 'sodium benzoate' or E211.
Sodium Benzoate which is imported is being used as Food Additive only, No other major application is there.
As per Indian Laws:
As per the law, Enclosed Notification, Any Food Additive used “Must be ISI Marked”. Non ISI/BIS marked product should be banned to import by any traders or users.
Why the imports of Sodium Benzoate from
Ø It is well known & established fact that almost all the Sodium Benzoate is being used in Food Processing Industry. Particularly in unorganized sector like Mahila Gruha Udyog or smaller units.
Ø Health of Indians is at stake and getting affected due to consumption and use of inferior quality Chinese sodium benzoate.
Ø The regulations of food norms are being violated presently by the import of spurious sodium benzoate.
Ø Indian authorities are sleeping and allowing the deteriorated quality Sodium Benzoate, which is being used in food openly and Indian consumer is taken for granted.
Ø There are importers, mainly traders, who are importing cheaper, low quality Sodium Benzoate from
Ø BIS Marked products only.
The Government has made Import of 131 products subject to compliance of the mandatory Indian quality standards as applicable to domestic goods.
For compliance of this requirement all manufacturers/exporters of these products to
As per Indian law, it is necessary that Sodium Benzoate used in food preservation shall be of food grade as per Indian Standard, IS:4447-1994, governed by Bureau of Indian Standard. Chinese Sodium Benzoate fails to comply with the mandatory Indian Quality Standards as levied by Bureau of Indian Standards. The material application is more in food industry and its use directly affects the health of the mass consuming it.
However, not many companies in
Ø Major product problems with Sodium Benzoate imported from
Sodium Benzoate is Sodium salt of Benzoic Acid and salts have no odor. However, china make Sodium Benzoate has unbearable odor in it which does not go unnoticed.
The content of chlorine is very high in the Chinese Sodium Benzoate. The presence of chlorine beyond the given standards is dangerous for human being consumption. The odor, and change in appearance on reacting with other elements is mainly due to presence of chlorine.
Sodium Benzoate is easily soluble in water. Chinese make has difficulty in solubility when dissolved in water. Sodium Benzoate when has acid present in it, it has difficulty in dissolving.
Change in appearance
Sodium Benzoate when mixed with other products does not affect the appearance of the material. However, Chinese sodium benzoate when mixed, changes the physical appearance of the product.
A high level inquiry is required to be initiated against the importers of Chinese Sodium Benzoate. No more mercy should be given for the low quality product importers who import for their own benefit and earning profits without considering the effect that it has on people’s health.
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act has recommended Sodium Benzoate as preservative. It is mandatory that the preservative used shall be of food grade and shall bear ISI mark. All Sodium Benzoate must be allowed to import, only if they have ISI marking on food grade material.
We request you to take Immediate action and protect the health of the Indian People.