Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sulfites


How long do we need to keep food on the shelf?  There are other ways of doing it. I mean other companies are doing it, so why don’t the big boys?  Oh that’s right; they just go where the money is spent.  So what are you voting for at the store? This stuff?

Sulfites are used as preservatives to maintain shelf life, color and inhibit bacterial growth in food products. They are also used to enhance the potency of certain medications. For most people, sulphites are not of particular concern, but people who are sensitive to them have experienced severe allergic reactions including anaphalactic shock. In addition, sulfites destroy thaimin (vitamin B1). People with sulfite sensitivities should avoid any product containing sulfites.

Sulfites are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. The FDA estimates that one out of 100 people is sensitive to the compounds. A person can develop sensitivity to sulfites at any time in life, and the cause of sensitivity is unknown. For a person who is sensitive to sulfites, a reaction can be mild or life threatening.

In 1986, the FDA banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw, such as lettuce or apples. Regulations also require manufacturers who use sulfites in their processed products to list the compounds on their product labels.

Although sulfites are no longer used on most fresh foods, they still can be found in a variety of cooked and processed foods. They also occur naturally in the process of making wine and beer.

Avoiding foods that contain or are likely to contain sulfites is the only way to prevent a reaction. If you are sensitive to sulfites, be sure to read the labels on all food items. When eating out, ask the chef or server if sulfites are used or added to food before or during preparation.

Examples of foods that may contain sulfites include:

·         Baked goods

·         Soup mixes

·         Jams

·         Canned vegetables

·         Pickled foods

·         Gravies

·         Dried fruit

·         Potato chips

·         Trail mix

·         Beer and wine

·         Vegetable juices

·         Sparkling grape juice

·         Apple cider

·         Bottled lemon juice and lime juice

·         Tea

·         Many condiments

·         Molasses

·         Fresh or frozen shrimp

·         Guacamole

·         Maraschino cherries

·         Dehydrated, pre-cut or peeled potatoes

Sulfite-containing ingredients to look for on food labels include:

·         Sulfur dioxide

·         Potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite

·         Sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite

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