Tag Archives: sulfites

Links

Here are some links to the websites which have great information.

G6PD Deficiency.

Dale Baker’s informative site about G6PD and everything around it.

G6PD Deficiency website by Dale Baker

High Sulfur Foods: One of the best sites to check if certain food is considered as a low thiols/sulfur or high thiols/sulfur food.

High sulfur/thiol foods

All the nutritional information you want to know about certain foods can be found here.

Nutrition Data

Facebook groups for Sulfite Issues:

Genetic Sulfite group:

Sulfur, Sulfites, Sulfates – Genetic Sulfite Intolerance SUOX/CBS Support

General Sulfite groups:

sulfitesnomore · For the sulfite sensitive or allergic

Sulfite & Sulfate Sensitivities Support Group

Sulfites ABC Facebook page:

Sulfites ABC

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Gluten Free Baking with Sulfite Intolerance Part I

Gluten free baking with sulfite intolerance

You have finally realized that your health issues, or some of them were due to the added sulfites and you have cut those out from your diet. But you have also noticed that you get some reactions from gluten containing grains and you want to try if going gluten free would be helpful in your case. Be aware ! First of all you are going to notice that most ready made gluten free products contain added sulfites and/or hidden sulfites, actually a lot of them and many gluten free products have more added sulfites than regular organic products.

Really? Yes. This was one of the hard lessons I learnt pretty early when I thought that I had figured out my own personal food issues, but no I wasn’t even close of that.

Starches are used in the gluten free baking much more often than in regular baking, and since every starch can actually contain sulfites, you really need to check with the manufacturer how the starches are made. Corn starch is one the starches which is used widely around the world and it is made pretty cheaply. Sulfites get into the processing of the corn when sulfur dioxide is added to the soaked corn to improve fermentation and at the same time to suppress the growth of harmful bacteria, mold, fungi and yeast. This phase of the production can last up to 48 hours. The corn starch as a final product can contain easily more than 50 ppm of sulfites, and the corn starch can also be used to make some other products like various corn based sugars and citric acid. So the soaking of the corn cobs is where the sulfites will get into the various corn-derived ingredients. Most of us who are sensitive to sulfites, react to the processed corn products, but those who are not allergic to corn,  can eat organic corn without issues. So remember than when any food item, like a vegetable is processed it can contain sulfites. Same goes with potatoes. Organic potatoes (not treated with anything) are safe even for me, but potato starch even just inhaled can give me a reaction. Various starches are also added into the supplements so be careful when choosing the right supplements for you.

So when you buy a ready made gluten free muffins from a freezer sections, you might not find the word sulfites in the label, but if you start to look closely the ingredients you might find a lot of common ingredients which are known to contain added sulfites, in this case hidden sulfites. Let’s imagine we are reading the ingredient list of a gluten free Lemon-muffins:

White sugar- yes, more sulfites if it is beet sugar, but even certain cane sugars will always have sulfites if those are bleached.
EGGS- these are safe sulfite-wise, just that those are high in organic sulfur so could be also an issue.
Rice flour- yes, if white in color and refined. Might contain sulfites.
Potato starch-yes almost always.
Vegetable oil- it should say which oil, but in many cases you can assume that it is a mix of different vegetable oils , which will create the right texture. Sulfite wise should be safe, but you should know the whole processing method.
Lemon juice concentrate- yes. Hard to find lemon juice concentrate without added sulfites.
Baking powder – yes, in most cases contain trace amounts of added sulfites in the starch, which in most case is corn derived.
Xanthan gum – yes, corn-derived product in most cases, so yes hidden sulfites.
Natural flavors- yes. Funny when they use a word natural which make you think that this is something healthy and good when in the end this can be just a chemically mixed flavor which comes directly out from the lab.
So can you see now what I am trying to tell you? Hidden sulfites are hiding in the gluten free baked products in most cases. You could easily make these muffins at home also with all oragnic, good quality ingredients where you subsitute these ingredients with sulfite safe ingredients. When you add up all these ingredients and the amounts of hidden sulfites they might contain you can be sure that if you react to added sulfites you will react to these muffins. It is then a different thing when an adult who weights around 60 kg eats one of these muffins than a kid who weights around 10 kg.
The worst offenders in gluten free baking in my option are the starches and sugar. There are many food starches used in baking today: arrowroot corn-maize, potato, rice, sweet potato, tapioca, wheat etc. Luckily you can find some of the starches without no added sulfites used during the processing, or in the end product, but unfortunately not many companies will label the products which contain sulfites or which are safe sulfite wise. Many companies keep the sulfite levels below 10 ppm in the final product, and as we all know those amounts are enough to give serious symptoms. So unfortunately the only way to know for sure is to contact to the manufacturer.

Sugar then. Sugar is a highly inflammatory and might just be an other trigger for various allergic symptoms and it does not have any nutrients if it is highly processed like the sugars which are often used in commercially baked goods. Beet sugar is often also GMO and even though brown sugar might sound like a healthy alternative it is often just white sugar which is colored and some molasses might have been added to it. There are many good unrefined sugar alternatives available today, and I am not talking about artificial sweeteners. Various coconut based sugars, sulfite free maple syrup and molasses, stevia, various fruit syrups, real honey etc.

If you go gluten free learn to look for healthier options and read always the labels. Learn to bake as well ! You might need to do initially a lot of research to find the safe sulfite free ingredients. But your body will thank you eventually!

LIST: ADDED SULFITES IN FOODS/DRINKS

If you know that you react to added sulfites you also need to know exactly in which foods and drinks you might find those. Unfortunately sulfites are labeled in most cases only when the limits are over 10 ppm, which is considered safe amount for most people but not for you, if you have genetic Sulfite intolerance and your SUOX and CBS are mutated. Even trace amounts of added sulfites can make you react and sulfites will accumulate in the body if there are blocked metabolic pathways for SUOX/CBS.

Why sulfites are used in food and drinks? You can read more here.

This list might miss some of the foods/drinks which have added sulfites, but I try to keep this updated. I have also added the foods which only contain trace amounts of sulfites. These items with just trace amounts of sulfites seem to give a lot of issues for sulfite intolerant people, like citric acid and various other corn derived products.

Foods and drinks which might contain added sulfites:

  • Appenzeller Cheese (Swiss made- cured in white wine)
  • Baby formulas: with many ingredients which all can contain trace amounts of sulfites
  • Baked products (this is extremely difficult category, since most commercially baked products might contain added sulfites, but when the amounts are under 10 ppm those are not labeled, so practically all baked goods: breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza crusts, pie crusts etc. might contain added sulfites specially frozen baked goods. Gluten free products are an other category of baked goods where the use of hidden sulfites is high due to the use of various food starches.)
  • Baking powder
  • Beer
  • Beet sugar (bleached with sulfites)
  • Berries (dried)
  • Cake mixes
  • Cane sugar (when bleached)
  • Candies with many ingredients which have trace amounts of sulfites
  • Caramel color 150b, 150d
  • Cereals
  • Chinese herbs (also medical herbs)
  • Ciders
  • Coconut flakes, shredded coconut, (dried, white in color)
  • Cocktail mixes, drink mixes
  • Corned beef
  • Corn flour, starch, sugars etc. Any corn-derived product can contain sulfites, since most corn is processed with sulfuric acid. Starches are bleached with sulfites etc. There are a lot of various sugars which can be made from processed corn; dextrin, maltodextrin, sorbitol, xylitol. Citric acid is one of the trigger ingredients for many sulfite sensitive people. It is made often from GMO corn with a specific mold.
  • Crab meat (canned, fresh, frozen)
  • Cream of tartar
  • Fish (dried; COD, Asian dried fish, fresh fish when kept in sulfited ice, frozen fish fillets)
  • Fish paste
  • Food starches (arrowroot, corn-maize, potato, rice, tapioca, sweet potato, wheat etc)
  • Fruit juices, made from all possible fruits and berries (concentrate, frozen)
  • Fruits ( when canned,dehydrated, dried, frozen, glazed)
  • Fruit sugar concentrates; Date syrup, Apple syrup, Pear syrup etc.
  • Gelatin
  • Glucomannan – various pasta items like noodles, spaghetti
  • Granola bars
  • Grape juice
  • Grapes (fresh, glazed)
  • Gravies
  • Ground meat- also in some countries called as mince meat ( it is illegal to add sulfites to the fresh meat products, but this still happens)
  • Guacamole
  • Herbs  (dried, fresh)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Horseradish, paste
  • Hot dogs
  • Invert sugar
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon/Lime juice (concentrate, frozen)
  • Lobster  (canned, fresh, frozen)
  • Malt extract
  • Malt syrups
  • Maple syrup
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Marmalade
  • Mincemeat (here as chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits and spices- used in some countries)
  • Molasses
  • Muesli
  • Mushrooms (canned, dried, fresh, frozen)
  • Mustard
  • Noodles (canned, dried, instant)
  • Olives (canned, pickled)
  • Onions (pickled)
  • Pectin
  • Peppers (canned, dried, pickled)
  • Pickles vegetables, pickled anything
  • Potatoes (dehydrated, frozen french fries, mashed, peeled, pre-cut)
  • Potato products: chips, starch
  • Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)
  • Raisins
  • Ready made mixes to anything: cakes, puddings, soups etc.
  • Relish
  • Rice mixes
  • Salt, with additives
  • Sauces
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sausages
  • Scallops (canned, fresh, frozen)
  • Shellfish (canned, fresh, frozen)
  • Shrimps (canned, fresh, frozen)
  • Snack foods
  • Sodas, soft drinks
  • Soups, soup mixes ( canned, frozen, vacuum packed)
  • Soy products
  • Sparkling fruit juices, non alcoholic
  • Sparkling wine
  • Spices, spice mixes
  • Sugar syrups made from fruits, grains etc. Brown rice syrup
  • Tamarind paste
  • Teas: instant, tea mixes ( tea bags might be also bleached with sulfites)
  • Tomatoes (canned, dehydrated, dried, frozen, paste/pulp/puree, sun dried)
  • Tortillas,  made with various flours: corn, wheat etc.
  • Trail mixes
  • Vegetable juices
  • Vegetables (frozen- sulfites are added to the water which is sprayed to the vegetables prior freezing- this prevents them sticking into each others)
  • Vinegar: wine vinegar, malt vinegar, rice vinegar etc.
  • Waffles (frozen, mixes)
  • Wasabi, paste (fresh Wasabi is safe and also rare- most cheap Japanese restaurants have only wasabi paste and that is made often with high fructose corn syrup and horseradish powder, and green colouring)
  • Wine (red, white, dessert)
  • Xanthan gum (corn-derived)
  • Yeast extracts, yeast flakes

What Are Sulfites ?

What are sulfites or sulphites ?

Sulfites are a group of preservatives containing the sulfite ion SO3 ²‾. These food additives are used in many ways, in many different food and non-food products. Different items contains different forms of sulfites or sulfur dioxide and I am listing them all separately with their corresponding E-numbers. I will be adding new things on these lists when I find out about those.

Sulfites in wines and in certain beers reduces bacterial growth as wine/beer ferments. Wines and beers will always contain some natural sulfites as sulfites are also a natural by product of fermentation.

Sulfites inhibit oxidation of fruits and vegetables, but sulfites are banned in fresh products in many countries, but they are allowed in dried fruits, in fruit jams, in peeled, pre -prepared potatoes etc.

Sulfites are added in certain seafood, like shrimps and lobster to prevent black spots, melanosis. But sulfites are also often added into the ice where all seafood and fish are kept.

Sulfites are powerful bleaching agent and those are used to bleach food starches like tapioca, potato, corn etc. As well as beet- and cane sugar. Unusually white colour in any food product could mean that it is bleached with sulfites.

Sulfites are also used as a dough condition, and are mixed with various flours, specially premixed flours for cakes, muffins etc.

Sulfites in medicines are used to maintain the stability and potency of the active ingredients.

You can find sulfites also in artificial snow or traces of sulfites might be found in swimming pools.

Sulfites can be everywhere so you really need to memorize the following list of E-numbers for sulfite containing food additives. In Europe E-numbers for all additives are used widely, but you might also see the written words of sulfites and/or sulfur dioxide in labels. In other countries E-numbers are not often used, but a label stating contain sulfites must be clearly written when the product contains more than 10 ppm (parts per million) of sulfites. Always read the labels, being it food, medicine or cosmetic product before using it.

E150b Caustic sulfite caramel

E150d Sulfite ammonia caramel

E220 Sulfur dioxide, SO2 at standard atmosphere is a toxic gas.

  • Occurs naturally by volcanic activity, but is also produced industrially by combustion of elemental sulfur.
  • One of the oldest food additives. Read more here.

E221 Sodium sulfite

E222 Sodium bisulfite (sodium hydrogen sulfite)

E223 Sodium metabisulfte

E224 Potassium metabisulfite

E225 Potassium sulfite

E226 Calcium sulfite

E227 Calcium hydrogen sulfite

E228 Potassium hydrogen sulfite