Sulfite food and beverage additives

The topic of sulfite food and beverage additives covers the application of sulfites in food chemistry. “Sulfite” is jargon that encompasses a variety of materials that are commonly used as preservatives or food additive in the production of diverse foods and beverages. Although sulfite salts are relatively nontoxic, their use has led to controversy, resulting in extensive regulations. Sulfites are a source of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a bactericide.

. . . Sulfite food and beverage additives . . .

Sulfite is SO32-, available as its sodium and potassium salts, Na2SO3 and K2SO3, respectively. When dissolved in water, these salts react with oxygen to give the corresponding sulfate salts, which are innocuous. Sodium sulfite used industrial as a corrosion inhibitor/oxygen scavenger.

Monoprotonation of sulfite gives HSO3, which is called bisulfite. The sodium and potassium salts of bisulfite are not available, but solid and solutions of the approximate formula NaHSO3 and KHSO3 are widely marketed as sodium bisulfite and potassium bisulfite. Closely related are the metabisulfite salts with formula Na2S2O5 and K2S2O5, respectively sodium metabisulfite and potassium metabisulfite. These salts dissolve to give solutions containing the bisulfite ion.

E numbers for sulfites as food additives are:

E150b Caustic sulfite caramel
E150d Sulfite ammonia caramel
E220 Sulfur dioxide
E221 Sodium sulfite
E222 Sodium bisulfite (sodium hydrogen sulfite)
E223 Sodium metabisulfite
E224 Potassium metabisulfite
E225 Potassium sulfite
E226 Calcium sulfite
E227 Calcium hydrogen sulfite (preservative)
E228 Potassium hydrogen sulfite

. . . Sulfite food and beverage additives . . .

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. . . Sulfite food and beverage additives . . .

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