Sulphite (SO2)

Definition - What does Sulphite (SO2) mean?

Sulphite, or Sulfite (SO2), is also a product commonly used in food products as a preservative against oxidation. It is commonly found in dried apricots and other dried fruits, also fruit juices, breakfast cereals, cookies, meat, yogurt, bread, candy, etc.

In the case of wine, winemakers will use Sulfite in different stages of wine making, as it has many uses in safe-guarding the wine from oxidation, premature aging and the chance that an acetobacter can turn the wine to vinegar.

WineFrog explains Sulphite (SO2)

Sulfites are sued as a preservative in wine to prevent oxidation, which will spoil the wine. Over the years, this compound has been found to produce allergic reactions in consumers, however, only about 2% of the global population has a native allergy to sulfites. But, people who have underlying respiratory conditions like asthma, can be prone to having a reaction when consuming a product that contains sulphites.

The use of Sulphur dioxide (sulfites), though controversial, thus far is necessary in winemaking for the preservation of wine. While there have been trials made for copper, it lacks the ability to prevent oxidation and premature aging of wine while it is aging in oak and other holding vessels. SO2 also has the ability to safe-guard a wine's flavor and is a important antioxidant.

Other allergic reactions include itchy skin or a skin rash, hay fever-type symptoms and/or rhinitis. Check the labels of dried fruits, cereals, processed breads and snacks.

The use of Sulphur dioxide (sulfites), though controversial, thus far is necessary in winemaking for the preservation of wine. While there have been trials made for copper, it lacks the ability to prevent oxidation and premature aging of wine while it is aging in oak and other holding vessels. SO2 also has the ability to safe-guard a wine's flavor and is a important antioxidant.

A myth also surfaced stating that sulphites in wine caused headaches. The belief that sulfites (sometimes spelled sulphites) in wines are the cause of headaches has been proven wrong. The factors which may cause headaches may be the amount of additional sugars added to wine, certain oak substitutes (i.e. liquid tannins), tannin and naturally occurring histamines contained in wine.

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