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E224: Potassium disulphite

Potassium metabisulphite

Potassium salt of sulphurous acid.

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

Preserved onions, wine, preserved fruits, shellfish, 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). It alleviates the effect of a hangover.

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

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Master in Food Safety Law is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands

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