Methyl Paraben is the methyl ester of p-hydroxybenzoic acid with the chemical formula of CH3(C6H4(OH)COO). It is naturally found in fruits such as blueberries. Methyl Paraben is a fine crystalline powder, which is odourless, tasteless and non-irritating. It is one of the oldest cosmetic preservatives and has been used since 1920.
Methyl Paraben is prepared by esterification of parahydroxybenzoic acid with the corresponding alcohol in the presence of an acid catalyst, such as sulfuric acid, and an excess of the specific alcohol. The sulphuric acid is then neutralized with caustic soda. Followed by crystallization of the product by cooling. Crystallised product is then centrifuged, washed, dried under vacuum, milled, and blended. Methyl Paraben is produced by the methanol esterification of p-hydroxybenzoic acid in the presence of sulfuric acid, with subsequent distillation.
Methyl paraben is commonly used as a preservative. It is also an effective inhibitor of moulds, yeasts and other microorganisms that commonly grow on food products. It is used in many products such as baked goods, creams and pastes, jams and jellies, syrups, processed vegetables, oils, seasonings, dairy products, and beverages. Methyl paraben is also used to inhibit the growth of the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum.
Methyl paraben is used as a preservative agent and for protection against fungal contamination.
Methyl paraben is used as a preservative in many cosmetic products such as moisturizers, hair care products, shaving products etc.