With reference to the use of Sodium benzoate in soft drinks, there have been several concerns. Consider the following statements in this context:
1. Sodium benzoate is added to soft drinks as preservative
2. Benzene in soft drinks is a potential concern due to its carcinogenic nature
3. Storing soft drinks in cool conditions speed up the formation of benzene
Which among the above is / are correct statements?

Answer: [C] Only 1 & 2

Sodium benzoate is added to soft drinks as preservative. Benzene in soft drinks is of potential concern due to the carcinogenic nature of the benzene molecule. The major cause of benzene in soft drinks is the decarboxylation of benzoic acid in the presence of ascorbic acid (vitamin c). Other factors that affect the formation of benzene are heat and light. Storing soft drinks in warm conditions speed up the formation of benzene.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module