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European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, ISSN: 2347-5641,Vol.: 5, Issue.: 2 (April-June)

Review Article

Short Review of Sulphites as Food Additives


Alvaro R. Garcia-Fuentes1, Sabrina Wirtz1, Ellen Vos1 and Hans Verhagen2,3*

1Maastricht University, P.O.Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
2National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O.Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
3University of Ulster, Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Cromore Road, Coleraine, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland.


Sulphites or sulphiting agents refer to sodium hydrogen sulphite, sodium metabisulphite, potassium metabisulphite, calcium sulphite, calcium hydrogen sulphite, and potassium hydrogen sulphite. As food additives, they are widely used by the food industry with a variety of commercial uses in food and beverages. Sulphites are effective bleaching agents, antimicrobials, oxygen scavengers, reducing agents, and enzyme inhibitors. Wine, beer, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, jam, juice, sugar, processed potatoes, seafood, meat and baked products are some of the food categories in which sulphites are added. Sulphites have been implicated in various health related issues. Asthmatic reactions and some antinutritional consequences such the degradation of thiamine (vitamin B1) are adverse reactions associated with sulphites. In many countries, sulphites have been regulated. Sulphites are generally recognized as safe in the USA with some exceptions when using in raw fruits and vegetables. In the European Union sulphites are also controlled, and the permitted amount varies according to the food product.

Keywords :

Food additives; sulphites; sulphiting agents; legal status; toxicity.

Full Article - PDF    Page 113-120

DOI : 10.9734/EJNFS/2015/11557

Review History    Comments

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