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E223: Sodium disulphite

Sodium metabisulphite

Origin:
S odium salt of sulphurous acid.

Function & characteristics:
It is a white, non-stable powder, which reacts with oxygen to form sodium sulphate. In acidic conditions it forms sulphurous acid, which acts as a preservative. It is used as a preservative in some products and may be used as a bleaching agent.

Products:
Preserved onions, alcoholic beverages, bakery products, fruit juices, potato products, etc.

Acceptable Daily Intake:
Up to 0.7 mg/kg body weight.

Side effects:
Due to its oxidising effect, it may reduce the vitamin content in products. It is reduced in the liver to harmless sulphate and excreted in the urine.

People who are intolerant towards natural sulphites should also avoid added sulphites (E221-228).

Dietary restrictions:
None sulphur dioxide and sulphites can be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians.


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