Sodium benzoate is a common food preservative and can be commonly found in the ingredient list of carbonated beverages. Carbonated beverages also contain phosphoric acid and are highly acidic. Explain why using the term 'sodium benzoate' is not a completely accurate representation of what is in the beverage.
Sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid. In an acidic environment, the sodium salt would not be present in any significant quantity because the benzoic acid would be protonated and would exist mainly as the free acid, not the salt.
benzoate + H+ ==> benzoic acid