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The introduction of Parabens and its sodiums preservative mechanism

Parabens also called p-hydroxy-benzoate ester. Parabens sodium also called P-hydroxy benzoate sodium Its preservative’s mechanism is to destroy the microorganism‘s cell membrane, and denaturalize the cells’ protein, finally restrain the activity of respiratory enzyme and electronic transmission enzyme. The antibacterial activity of Parabens(sodium) is mainly determined by molecular state.

二、The advantages of Parabens (sodium) preservative.

 1. High temperature resistance, not easy to be oxidized and discoloration. After high temperature and high pressure sterilization, it won’t change its antiseptic property. Parabens (sodium) can involve before goods sterilizing. It is easy for use and can strengthen the high temperature sterilizing effects. However preservative potassium sorbate will lose antiseptic function when temperature rise to 95℃.

2. Lower addition amount. Industrial preservative has better antibacterial effect and safety, and has lower bad effects on human body. Lower addition amount of Parabens (sodium) can largely decrease the product cost.

A. The suggestion addition amount in food (as per standard GB2760—2007), taking Methyl paraben for reference:



Soy sauce




Sauce and soy sauce products


Pastry fillings


Areca catechu




Fruit,vegetables (After surface treatment)


Hot frozen egg products


Juice beverages


Carbonated Drinks


Flavor Drinks


B. The suggestion addition amount in cosmetics products.
Parabens(sodium) single ester, limited amount :0.4%
Parabens(sodium) complex Ester, limited amount : 0.8%

C. The suggestion addition amount in medical products: 0.02-0.05%

D. The addition amount in other products: According to different products’ characteristics.

3. Wide anti-bacteria range. Parabens(sodium) have excellent preventing effect on mould, saccharomycetes, gram negative bacteria and gram-positive and so on.

4. Wide PH value application range. PH value change has small difference on parabens (sodium)‘s preservative effect .Parabens (sodium) can have excellent preservative effect on PH value 3-8. But sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate have very small preservative effect when PH value more than 5.5. Therefore when apply other preservatives in neutral products; the antibacterial activity of preservative is relative small, while Parabens (sodium) still have excellent antibacterial activity.

三、The comparison of Parabens and  sodium parabens.
Parabens is oil-base product. It is insoluble in water, and need the solvent like alcohol to solve it, which has relative complicated operation. Parabens’ dispersibility is not well as Parabens sodium, not easy to spread evenly.
Parabens sodium is water- base product. It is easy to operate and have good dispersibility.