When you make flavored syrup for shave ice to help it remain fresh for up to 6 months without refrigeration, you must preserve it. Without preservatives, the syrup has a 1-to-2-week shelf life.
Citric acid and sodium benzoate combined is a very effective FDA-approved preservative. However, one without the other will not give long-term preservation. This method of preservation works especially well for shave ice syrup made with pure cane sugar and our Super 12 flavor concentrate.
The citric acid and the sodium benzoate should be stirred into the syrup separately. If you stir them in at the same time the effectiveness of the preservative will be reduced, or it might not work at all.
All of our ready-to-use syrups have citric acid and sodium benzoate added to help preserve the flavors. You only need to purchase them if you are buying our Super 12 concentrate and making your own ready-to-use syrups, and you want to extend the shelf life.