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Kirsteen

Sulphur dioxide?

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No I haven't suddenly taken a craving for a big mug of the stuff <VBG>. I'm trying to find a balsamic and a wine vinegar that I can use. I know I can have anything except malt but they all contain either potassium sulphite or sulphur dioxide. Is sd better than sulphites or is it basically the same thing? I've also got dried apricots with sulpher dioxide. Are they a no-no?

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Take a pass on the vinegars with sulphur dioxide. The ones with only "naturally occurring sulphites" are okay and you can find them.

Follow me on a little mash up from the Wikipedia entry where sulphur dioxide is described as a concerning component of acid rain that is used to make sulphuric acid and to preserve food! Nonetheless, scientists say sulpher dioxide is safe for human consumption except for sensitive individuals in large quantities. Excuse me if I don't want any!

First: Sulfur dioxide (also sulphur dioxide) is the chemical compound with the formula SO2. It is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating smell, that is released by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide unless the sulfur compounds are removed before burning the fuel. Further oxidation of SO2, usually in the presence of a catalyst such as NO2, forms H2SO4, and thus acid rain.[2] Sulfur dioxide emissions are also a precursor to particulates in the atmosphere. Both of these impacts are cause for concern over the environmental impact of these fuels.

Second:

Uses

Precursor to sulfuric acid

Sulfur dioxide is an intermediate in the production of sulfuric acid, being converted to sulfur trioxide, and then to oleum, which is made into sulfuric acid. Sulfur dioxide for this purpose is made when sulfur combines with oxygen. The method of converting sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid is called the contact process. Several billion kilograms are produced annually for this purpose.

As a preservative

Sulfur dioxide is sometimes used as a preservative for dried apricots, dried figs, and other dried fruits owing to its antimicrobial properties, and it is sometimes called E220 when used in this way. As a preservative, it maintains the colorful appearance of the fruit and prevents rotting. It is also added to sulfured molasses.

Third:

Safety

Ingestion

In the United States, the Center for Science in the Public Interest lists the two food preservatives, sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfite, as being safe for human consumption except for certain individuals who may be sensitive to it, especially in large amounts.[23]

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Wow! Thanks for such a detailed response. This site rocks. you're right I don't want any of it either. I haven't found any with just naturally occurring sulphites. They all have them added as an antioxidant. So I guess I'll just have to skip them in the meantime but I'll keep looking. Thanks again.

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Can I please ask- do I have to start over if I did accidentally had sulfur dioxide once?? It was apparently in my ground ginger spice (and here I thought when you bought spices you were safe, that cinnamon is just cinnamon! But sadly no...). I used this spice in one of my dishes and noticed it after. Do I have to start over? Really?

 

 

In addition, if it is in one brand of ground ginger, a spice, how do we know that it isn't in restaurant kitchens' spices when we (obviously rarely, but in a pinch) need to get food out? Even a plain grilled steak has some seasonings, right?

 

Clearly I'm grasping at straws in not wanting to start over.

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For whether you need to start over or not, read this article and decide for yourself.

 

As for restaurants -- you have to do the best you can and ask about obvious things, like marinades and cooking oils and how vegetables are cooked, but no, you don't have to ask about every spice they use.

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