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Diet

Are Sulphites Bad For You?

25 October 2019

Today’s Health Bunker article is an addition to our ‘Processed Food Series’. We will be looking at one chemical that’s added to our food and drink as a preservative. They’re called sulfites. Although sulfites occur naturally they are also used as a food additive, in dried fruits and vegetables, red wine and white wine, cooked meats and more.

These added sulfites can and do cause allergic reactions in food sensitive people. The factors we will look into today are;

  • What are sulfites and why are they added to Food and Drink?
  • Sulphite foods and Alcohol.
  • Symptoms of Sulfite Sensitivity and others.
  • What brands contain Sulfites?

While researching these articles, what really shocks me is the number of industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and really bad food we as a nation actually eat. But, the thing that amazes me more is the fact that the human body can continue to run with all these poisons sloshing around inside us. What an amazing biological device we have. It does make me wonder why we want to damage it so much?

Sulphite

What are Sulphites and Why Are They Added to Food, Drink and Cosmetics?

Sulfites or sulphites are compounds that occur naturally in the human body and in foods. They are also used as an additive in food. Sulfites are used to preserve or extend the shelf life of food or drink.

Here’s a list of different E numbers used as Food Additives to watch out for;

E150b – Caustic Sulphite Caramel, E150d – Sulphite Ammonia Caramel, E220 – Sulphur Dioxide, E221 – Sodium Sulfite, E222 – Sodium Bisulfite, E223 – Sodium Metabisulfite, E224 – Potassium Metabisulphite, E225 – Potassium Sulfite, E226 – Calcium Sulfite, E227 – Calcium Hydrogen Sulfite, E228 – Potassium Hydrogen Sulfite, E503 – Ammonium Bicarbonate.

Sulphite Foods and Alcohol

Sulfites are used in the following, avoid food like; Baked Foods, Soups and Gravies, canned vegetables, vegetable juices, pickled foods, dried fruit like dried apricots, alcoholic drinks like beers, ciders and wine, fruit juices, tea, condiments, frozen prawns, crisps, noodles and rice mixes. Soy products, jams and preserves.

Other types of products that could also contain Sulfites are; sweeteners, cosmetics, medications and pharmaceuticals.

Symptoms of Sulphite Sensitivity

People with food allergies, should not eat sulfites. Sulfite allergies can cause severe asthmatic symptoms for anyone with sulfite-sensitive asthma, in extreme cases, sulfite side effects can be fatal.

Just this year the IARC part of the World Health Organisation said that cooked processed meats including bacon, sausages, hot dogs and other processed meats could be a cause of certain cancers, which was reported on the BBC.

Other Sulphite Side Effects

Sulfites also cause negative effects like; migraines, headaches, nasal congestion, itchy throat, runny nose, skin rash, and hives in some people to differing degrees of distress.

Sulphite
A bowl of crisps

Which Leading Brands Use Sulphites and in What Products?

Greggs; Sausage Rolls & Sausage and Bean Bake both contain sulphites. Although there are other pasties containing bacon, pepperoni and soy ingredients, they do not show these ingredients to contain sulfites. But, I’ve read their allergen advice leaflet and most of their food either contain sulfites or they cannot guarantee that they don’t.

Coca Cola and PepsiCo; Caustic Sulphite Caramel, E150d, Sulphite Ammonia Caramel, E220. (see our sugary drinks article).

Other examples of brands I checked that use sulfites include; Mr Kiplings, Walkers Crisps & Richmond Sausages, the list is endless.

Health Bunker

We live in a time where manufacturers can legally put ingredients in food and drink that are quite clearly harmful, and some even deadly. And no one seems to care. Companies selling food hide ingredients or make them hard to find.

I only checked about 7 food manufacturing companies and all of them used some form of preservative derivative of sulfites. The same usual suspects (chemical companies) make these chemical additives that are then put into the food supply.

Is it any wonder we live in an age of sickness and disease. We are meant to be at the forefront of medical achievements. If true, why are more and more people becoming ill?

Eat Well. Be Well.

Dom and Nic
Health Bunker
It’s Your Life. Own it!

 

References

WHO
https://www.iarc.fr/
http://apps.who.int/food-additives-contaminants-jecfa-database/chemical.aspx?chemID=289
Unlocked Food
https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Food-technology/What-You-Need-to-Know-About-Sulphites.aspx
Greggs
https://www.greggs.co.uk/bakes/sausage-roll
Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfite
WebMD
https://www.webmd.com/allergies/sulfite-sensitivity
Sulfites.org
http://www.sulfites.org/what-are-sulfites/
Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/health-who-iarc/
BioBank
https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/
Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/01/bacon-cancer-processed-meats-nitrates-nitrites-sausages
Cleveland Clinic
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-food-additives-you-should-avoid/
WRHA
http://www.wrha.mb.ca/prog/nutrition/files/allergen_sulphite.pdf
Richmond Sausages
https://richmondsausages.co.uk/our-products/8-thick-pork-sausages/

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