Many foods contain sulfites, which are inorganic salts, as a preservative. Sulfites prevent foods from browning, control the growth of micro-organisms and bleach certain food starches and cherries. Some people can develop a sensitivity to sulfites. If you are asthmatic, you have a greater chance of having a reaction to sulfite-containing foods. Since 1988, four national agencies have regulated the use of sulfites in drugs, food, meat, poultry, alcoholic beverages and grapes. Knowing which foods contain sulfites may help you identify a sulfite allergy or avoid a reaction.
A variety of fruits in many forms contain sulfites. These include canned and frozen fruits, fruit fillings, syrups, jams, jellies and preserves. Dried fruits, such as apricots, coconuts and raisins also contain sulfites, along with glazed fruits like maraschino cherries. T=In addition, tomato paste, pulp and purees use sulfites.
Canned and frozen vegetables may contain sulfites, along with dried veggies such as sweet potatoes. Dehydrated, mashed, peeled and pre-cut potatoes use sulfites as a preservative, as do vegetable juices.
Alcoholic beer, cider and wine produce sulfites during fermentation. Non-alcoholic wine and cider can also contain sulfites.
Many condiments use sulfites as a preservative, including ketchup, mustard and relish. Pickled condiments, including sauerkraut, horseradish, coleslaw and pickles, also contain sulfites.
Many other foods contain sulfites, including dried herbs, spices and teas, cereal, cornmeal, crackers and muesli. Baked goods, deli meets and some seafood contain sulfites in some cases as well.
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