Potassium benzoate is essentially a chemical preservative which is commonly added to soft drinks and other foods and beverages. It is used as an effective preservative since it thwarts the growth of certain bacteria, mold and yeast. In its liquefied state, it breaks up into its two distinct parts; the benzoate salt and the electrolyte potassium. Potassium is tremendously essential for a number of biological processes; this includes the contraction of muscles associated with the heartbeat. As an essential mineral, potassium is required for the proper function of your cells, organs and tissues. In addition to calcium, magnesium and sodium, potassium serves as an electrolyte. This is due to its capacity to spread electrical pulses and signals throughout the nervous system. Apart from its significance in sustaining the right heart rhythm, potassium is required for smooth muscle contraction as well. This is essential for the function and health of the digestive system.