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Denatonium benzoate (3734-33-6)

What is Denatonium Benzoate

Denatonium Benzoate is the benzoate salt of quaternary ammonium cation denatonium. It is the most bitter chemical compound known, with a bitterness threshold of 0.05 ppm. The name denatonium reflects the substance’s primary use as a denaturant and its chemical nature as a cation, hence the Latin suffix -onium. It is available under trade names such as Denatrol, BITTERANT-b, BITTER+PLUS, Bitrex, and Aversion. Denatonium salts are usually colourless and odourless solids but are often traded as solutions.

Macsen Laboratories is the supplier of high-quality Denatonium Benzoate.
Name of Product Denatonium Benzoate (Anhydrous)
IUPAC Name benzyl-[2-(2,6-dimethylanilino)-2-oxoethyl]-diethylazanium;benzoate
Synonyms DENATONIUM BENZOAT, Bitrex, Lidocaine benzyl benzoate
CAS No 3734-33-6
Molecular Formula C28H34N2O3
Molecular Weight 446.6 g/mol
Pubchem CID 19518
Pubchem SID 463577164
Available form Powder form, Granular form, Solution
MSDS Click Here


SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance White free flowing powder
2 Assay (by Titrimetry (NAT)) Not less than 99.50 % w/w and not more than 101.0 % w/w
3 MELTING POINT 162 °C to 171 °C
4 Loss on Drying NMT 1.0 %
5 pH 6.5 to 7.5


  • The bitterness of the compound guides most applications of denatonium. Denatonium benzoate (Bitrex) has been used in the United States for over 20 years as an alcohol denaturant.
  • It is added to many kinds of household and industrial products including cleaning agents, antifreeze, and other chemicals that can be harmful if ingested, to prevent accidental swallowing or choking by children.
  • It is used in the production of certain personal care products such as nail polish remover, hair tonics, and other similar products to deter ingestion.
  • It is also used in clinical trials in placebos to mimic the bitter taste of certain medications.
  • Additionally, it is used in research as a aversive stimulus for animal studies, as it is harmless to the subjects, but extremely unpleasant.

Side effects

There are no serious side effects or adverse effects reported with the use of Denatonium benzoate. But People may experience irritability, difficulty sleeping, confusion, nightmares, mood swings, depression, suffer from delusions and suicidal thoughts in case of excessive dosage.


Q. Is Denatonium Benzoate toxic to humans?

When ingested at 10 ppm by human beings, denatonium benzoate has an extremely bitter, unpleasant taste. The addition of denatonium benzoate to liquid dish detergents and orange juice reduces the amount ingested by children. The toxicity of denatonium benzoate is low with acute PO LD50s in rats of 485-740 mg/kg.

Q. What is 1% w/w solution of Denatonium Benzoate used for?

Denatonium Benzoate 1% w/w solution is extremely bitter tasting and can be used topically to prevent nail biting and thumb sucking in children if recommended by a doctor.

Q. Is Denatonium Benzoate safe for babies?

When employed as an aversive agent in low quantities, denatonium benzoate seems to provide no safety concerns.

Q. Does exposure to Denatonium Benzoate causes any allergy?

Denatonium benzoate rarely causes any sort of unwanted side effects. However, it was found to be the cause of a serious allergic reaction in an individual, who developed urticaria and asthma after being exposed to the substance.

Q. Is Denatonium benzoate the same as benzene?

Denatonium benzoate consists of benzoate i.e., the conjugate base of benzoic acid and an ester of two Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) molecules.

Q. What products have Denatonium benzoate?

Denatonium Benzoate is a common bittering agent used in a variety of products such as antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, perfume, nail polish, paints, disinfectants, cleaning fluids, rubbing alcohol, paints, varnishes, solvents, and pesticides.

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