Sulphur Dioxide in dried fruit: Is it harmful?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Non-financial Questions' started by ajapale, May 11, 2006.

  1. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    I bought some dried whole pitted apricots in a health shop today.

    A note at the back of the pack says This product contains Sulphur Dioxide.

    Is Sulphur Dioxide harmful?

    Thanks,
    aj
     
  2. brodiebabe

    brodiebabe Frequent Poster

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  3. Vanilla

    Vanilla Frequent Poster

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    Find this annoying myself as I have been on the lookout for dried apricots without sulpher for Vanilla Junior Senior to no avail. If you find any in the area, please let me know Ajapale.
     
  4. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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  5. coleen

    coleen Frequent Poster

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    i buy dried fruit in lidl and it does not have any additives at least that is what it says
     
  6. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    The bags of Lidl mixed dried fruit (apple, apricot, prune, pear etc.) do contain SO2 as a preservative (with the exception of one of the items of fruit contained therein for some reason). I mix their stuff in with fresh fruit and eat them every day for the past year and a half.
     
  7. Missy

    Missy Registered User

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    Hi there
    I find unsulphured apricots at my local health food store. They are very dark brown in colour and have a very distinctive taste, nicer than the sulphured ones imo. The sulphur stops them from discolouring as they dry apparently.
    M
     
  8. Petal

    Petal Frequent Poster

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    Sulphites are added as preservatives to avoid enzymatic browning and also as an anti-fungicide. Any kind of dried fruit that is nice and colourful, rather than brown-ish, will have sulphites added to it. Almost all the health food stores stock dried fruit without sulphite preservatives. A lot of other foods contain sulphites, too. You should always read the label and look for the relevant E number if you want to avoid certain additives. Sulphites as such are not particularily harmful, but some people might be sensitive to it, in particular people with asthma.
     
  9. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    And many (most?) wines, at least of those commonly sold in Ireland.
     
  10. Petal

    Petal Frequent Poster

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    I think pretty much all red wines definitely contain sulphites (in and outside Ireland). This will have to be labelled from now on though.
     
  11. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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  12. woods

    woods Frequent Poster

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    Dried apricots should be brown and the only reason that they add the chemicals is because they are convinced that we want them to be orange.
    If we all refused to buy the orange ones and only bought the brown ones (as I do ) then they would drop the habit.
     
  13. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    But we obviously don't. And my understanding is that SO2 is not necessarily hamful to most people (other than some asthmatics and/or others with intolerances to it).
     
  14. woods

    woods Frequent Poster

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    Well if you feel that good about it then I suggest that you add it to all your food. I intend to give it a miss because I respect my body and I do not want to get cancer.
     
  15. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    No complaints after years of eating dried fruit containing SO2 as a preservative. Can you point me to any independent objective evidence of SO2 preservative as a primary cause of cancer in humans by any chance?

    This link might be of interest to you:

    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts116.html#bookmark06
     
  16. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    Thanks for all the information and discussion. I think I'll spend some time researching the issue!


    aj
     
  17. woods

    woods Frequent Poster

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    I make a point of not including additives in my diet. There are lots of things that have not been proven to give you any disease but then they said that about DDT in the fifties and sixtes. Just one example of many.
     
  18. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    What precisely do you mean by "additives"? Are you saying that you never consume any foods with any, for example, colouring/preservative/falvouring additives? Are you saying that you avoid even additives that are regulated by the relevant Irish and EU authorities in terms of safety and limits and which represent no risk to health? Do you grow all of your own food so that you can be sure that there are no unwanted additives?
    I don't think that DDT was ever used as a food additive but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, getting back to SO2 I take it that you cannot point to any evidence that it causes cancer or that it represents a health risk to anybody other than some athmatics and others with an allergy/reaction to it?
     
  19. woods

    woods Frequent Poster

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    You are correct in your assumption. I do not take any additives because I do not eat any processed foods. I try to buy as much of my fruit and veg organic (what I do not grow myself) and anything that I have to buy non organic (does not happen very often) I use Vegewash on to remove as much of the pesticides as possible. I do not use toiletries or cosmetics other than a shower wash that I get in the health food store and a crystal deoderant.
    I am saying that I do this because I believe that just because the EU says that it is OK does not make it so and there have been many times that this has been proven to our detriment in the past. This is the reason that I introduced to DDT debate.
    Dont forget that our authorities said that Thalidomide was safe for pregnant mothers.
    I have taken responsibility for my own health and make my own decisions because I am the one that has to live with the consequences and I do not trust and group of people to controle my health when I know the pressure that is being put on them by the lobbyiests from Monsanto and the big food companies.
    They are paying a fortune to get some of these additives added to the approved list and the US government and putting further pressure on the EU to drop our already low standards so that the giant US companies will benifit.
    I am not being paranoid and I am sitting in front of a computer screne that I know is bad for my health (listening to 2FM which has to be bad for me) but I know the risks that I take in life and I want me to decide if it is one worth taking and if I will get more from it than I will loose.
    I will not gain one thing from having my dried apricots orange instead of brown so why take even the tinyest risk, however negligable (and it is bigger than that).
    As for your comment about DDT not being a food additive. There are lots more ways that a substance has for finding it's way into your body than in food. I recall about 30 years ago reading about talcum powder being found in peoples kidneys having travelled up through other openings.
     
  20. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    The shop suggested I contact Munster Wholefoods based in Farranfore in Co Kerry to see if they have an "SO2-free" range of dried fruit.