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?
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
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