In this review, we show the life cycle of parabens, commonly used preservatives
that exist in nature and commercial products. Typical synthetic methods to produce
parabens, and a set of complimentary characterization techniques to monitor the composition
of parabens are also highlighted. This includes solid state analysis using Scanning
Electron Microscope (SEM), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction
(XRD), in-situ monitoring of crystallization process using Focused Beam Reflectance
Measurement (FBRM), Particle Vision Measurement (PVM), quantitative detection
via High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), and Gas Chromatography (GC).
An improved understanding of the overall physical, biophysical and chemical properties
of parabens and their life cycle, summarized in this article, are vital for the safety control
and extensive applications of relevant products in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.