Assessment of Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate Preservatives and Artificial Color in Bulk Tomato Paste Samples in Qazvin, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Health Products Safety Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

2 Medical Microbiology Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran


Tomato is one of the popular crops in the world and tomato paste is a product of it. Due to its wide application, quality control of this product is important. The goal of our study was to the assessment of potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate preservatives and artificial color in bulk tomato paste samples in Qazvin, Iran. In this study, 45 samples were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to determine the preservatives. Benzoic acid was detected in 17 (37.78%) samples, ranging from nd not detected to 1896 mg kg-1 and Potassium sorbate was not detected in any of the samples. The detection of color in samples was done by the thin-layer chromatography method (TLC). Three samples (6.67%) had Pansio 4R artificial color. The mean and standard deviation of sodium benzoate in samples were 990.62 mg kg-1 and 396.07 mg kg-1, respectively. According to the national standard of Iran for canned tomato paste, adding any kind of preservative and color to tomato paste is prohibited. The results show the importance monitoring of sodium benzoate and artificial colors in bulk tomato paste by health authorities.


  1. Vitalis F., Zaukuu J.L.Z., Bodor Z., Aouadi B., Hitka G., Kaszab T., Zsom-Muha V., Gilly Z., Kovacs Z., 2020. Detection and quantification of tomato paste adulteration using conventional and rapid analytical methods. Sensors. 20(21), 6059.
  2. Finley J.W., deMan J.M., Jeffrey Hurst W., Lee C.Y., 2018. Principles of food chemistry. 4rd ed. Springer.
  3. Kritsunankul O., Jakmunee J., 2011. Simultaneous determination of some food additives in soft drinks and other liquid foods by flow injection on-line dialysis coupled to high performance liquid chromatography. Talanta. 84(5), 1342-1349.
  4. Krebs H.A., Wiggins D., Stubbs M., Sols A., Bedoya F., 1983. Studies on the mechanism of the antifungal action of benzoate. Biochem J. 214(3), 657-663.
  5. Carocho M., Barreiro M.F., Morales P., Ferreira I.C., 2014. Adding molecules to food, pros and cons: A review on synthetic and natural food additives. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 13(4), 377-399.
  6. Buazzi M.M., Marth E.H., 1991. Mechanisms in the inhibition ofListeria monocytogenes by potassium sorbate. Food Microbiol. 8(3), 249-256.
  7. Hong H., Liang X., Liu D., 2009. Assessment of benzoic acid levels in milk in China. Food Control. 20(4), 414-418.
  8. Mota F.J., Ferreira I.M., Cunha S.C., Beatriz M., Oliveira P., 2003. Optimisation of extraction procedures for analysis of benzoic and sorbic acids in foodstuffs. Food Chem. 82(3), 469-473.
  9. Nour V., Trandafir I., Ionica M., 2009. Simultaneous Determination of Sorbic and Benzoic Acids in Tomato Sauce and Ketchup Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Annals Food Sci Technol. 10(1), 157-162.
  10. Zengin N., Yüzbaşıoğlu D., Ünal F., Yılmaz S., Aksoy H., 2011.The evaluation of the genotoxicity of two food preservatives: sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate. Food Chem Toxicol. 49(4), 763-769.
  11. 11. Yılmaz S., Ünal F., Yüzbaşıoğlu D., The in vitro genotoxicity of benzoic acid in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Cytotechnology. 60(1-3), 55.
  12. Nair B., 2001. Final report on the safety assessment of Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, and Sodium Benzoate. Int J Toxicol. 20, 23-50.
  13. McCann D., Barrett A., Cooper A., Crumpler D., Dalen L., Grimshaw K., 2007. Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. The lancet. 370(9598), 1560-1567.
  14. Beezhold B.L., Johnston C.S., Nochta K.A., 2014. Sodium benzoate–rich beverage consumption is associated with increased reporting of ADHD symptoms in college students: A pilot investigation. J Atten Disord. 18(3), 236-241.
  15. Esfandiari Z.G.N., Hosseini H., 2017. Examination of the Antimicrobial Preservatives of Benzoic Acid and Sodium Benzoate in Different Food Products in Iran: A Review of the Current Evidence. J Health Syst Res. 13(1), 1-9.
  16. Tfouni S., Toledo M., 2002. Determination of benzoic and sorbic acids in Brazilian food. Food Control. 13(2), 117-123.
  17. Yildiz A., Erdogan S., Saydut A., Hamamci C., 2012. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis and assessment of benzoic acid in yogurt, ayran, and cheese in Turkey. Food Anal Methods. 5(3), 591-595.
  18. Mahboubifar M., Sobhani Z., Dehghanzadeh G., Javidnia K., 2011. A comparison between UV spectrophotometer and high-performance liquid chromatography method for the analysis of sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate in food products. Food Anal Methods. 4(2), 150-154.
  19. Dong C., Mei Y., Chen L., 2006. Simultaneous determination of sorbic and benzoic acids in food dressing by headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 1117(1), 109-114.
  20. Ferreira I.M., Mendes E., Brito P., Ferreira M.A., 2000. Simultaneous determination of benzoic and sorbic acids in quince jam by HPLC. Food Res Int. 33(2), 113-117.
  21. Khosroukhavar R., Sadeghzadeh N., Amini M., Ghazi-Khansari M., Hajiaghaee R., Ejtemaei Mehr S., 2010. Simultaneous determination of preservatives (sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate) in soft drinks and herbal extracts using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). J Med Plants. 9(35), 80-87.
  22. Gholipour M., Babai Z., Mohammadi Z., Karimzadeh L., Abedi S., 2014. Validation Method and Determination of Potassium Sorbat in Dough with HPLC. J. Mazandaran Univ. Med. Sci. 23(109), 37-44.
  23. Vesal H., Mortazavian A., Mohammadi A., Esmaeili S., 2013, Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate levels in doogh samples consumed by the Tehran market measured using high performance liquid chromatography. Iran J Nutr Sci Food Technol. 8(2), 181-190.
  24. Javanmardi F., Barati M., Nemati M., Aref Hosseini S., 2017. A Survey of benzoate and sorbate concentrations in different foods in the eastern Azerbaijan. J Food Technol Nutr. 14(4), 37-52.
  25. 25. Iranian National Standard, 2016. Canned tomato paste Specifications and Test Methods. No 761.
  26. Pylypiw Jr. H.M., Grether M.T., 2000. Rapid high-performance liquid chromatography method for the analysis of sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate in foods. J chromatogr A. 883(1-2), 299-304
  27. Iranian National Standard, 2013. Permitted food additives-Synthetic food colors in foods-Identification by thin layer chromatography - Test Methods. No 2364.
  28. Juhlin L., 1981. Recurrent urticaria: clinical investigation of 330 patients. Brit J Dermatol. 104(3), 369–381.
  29. Faraji M., Rahbarzare F., 2016. Simultaneous determination of four preservatives in foodstuffs by high performance liquid chromatography. Nut Food Sci Res. 3(2), 43-50.
  30. Iranian National Standard, 1995. Food preservatives. No 950.
  31. Delavar M., Ahmadi A.R., Kazemifar A.M., Abdollahi M., 2012. Determination of benzoate level in canned pickles and pickled cucumbers in food producing factories in Markazi province and those that their products were sold in Arak City, Iran. Iran J Toxicol. 6(18), 686-690.
Volume 12, Issue 3
July 2022
Pages 501-507
  • Receive Date: 01 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 26 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 06 June 2022
  • First Publish Date: 07 June 2022