Sulphur dioxide in coconut products

by (2268) Updated May 20, 2013 at 7:31 PM Created February 15, 2010 at 8:25 PM

How bad is this? I love creamed coconut and dried coconut flakes, but sometimes the only ones I can find have sulphur dioxide as an additive (no other additives though). I'm guessing this is not ideal, but does anyone know about reported/known/suspected ill effects of this ingredient? I consume quite a lot of dried coconut products so I'm interested to know.

Update: I've also discovered sulphites as additives in the frozen shrimp that I sometimes buy... And having paid closer attention to the effects of eating these foods, I have been noticing the appearance of some, ahem, flatulence on the days I eat a lot of coconut and/or shrimp. Could be a coincidence, but I wouldn't be suprised if it could be attributed to the sulphites. Anyone else had a similar experience?

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1988 · February 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM

I'd put that in the "eat it, but seek another source" category. Sulfur dioxide reversibly reacts with certain flavor components (aldehydes) to produce a compound that is less volatile so the flavor of fruits is preserved in drying. When eaten, these compounds quickly revert to sulfites and the original flavors. About 1% of people lack an enzyme, sulfite oxidase, that turns sulfite into benign sulfate, and thus are sensitive to sulfites.1

22684 · June 02, 2010 at 2:54 PM

I'm going to go with

  • a cause of acid rain
  • a known air pollutant
  • a known toxin linked to asthma and breathing problems
  • decidedly non-paleo unless you live on a volcano

Sulphur dioxide reacts with a wide range of substances found in food, including various essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fatty acids. Adverse reactions: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

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