Catch-Up Mondays: Sulfites and Food – revisited

This is part three of my sulfite blog posts.  I shared this on February 2, 2013. When you start eliminating sulfites, the amount of foods that have them is unbelievable.  Of course without testing it is very difficult to know at what point you will react or how much is actually in the foodstuff.

Okay so this is part three of my story on sulfites. I hope you all are not tired of hearing about them yet. The list of foods is long. Somehow the lists I have found don’t seem to be as lengthy as what I remember. But then again, with my brain fog and the fact it was about thirty years ago it is hard to know for certain.

Before I start listing the foods I will respond to a question a friend of mine asked. She wanted to know if organic foods were safe from sulfites. From what I have read that they are not allowed in organic foods in the US. I also read that organic foods that travel over borders can be sprayed with sulfites or sit in a tub of sulfited water or ice to prevent browning.

Foods with naturally occurring sulfites are grapes (why even organic wine can contain a certain level of sulfites), onions, garlic, salmon, leeks, lettuce, chives and asparagus.

The FDA has broken down the foods with sulfites by category in their FDA Guide to Foods and Drugs with Sulfites.  The Sulfite levels have also been categorized by ppm (parts per million and shown in red) with greater than 100 ppm considered very high (strict avoidance), between 50 and 99.9 ppm considered moderate to high (avoidance advised in those with sulfite sensitivity), between 10 and 49.9 ppm considered low to moderate (may cause symptoms to those with severe sulfite allergy), and less than 10 ppm considered very low levels (generally do no pose a risk even to those with sulfite sensitivity).

Alcoholic Beverages (beer, cocktail mixes, wine, wine coolers) Wine is in the very high and beer is considered very low.

Baked Goods (cookies, crackers, mixes with dried fruits or vegetables, pizza crust, Quiche crust, flour tortillas) Low to moderate level.

Beverage Bases (dried citrus fruit mixes) Very high level.

Condiments and Relishes (horseradish, relishes, pickles, olives, salad dressing mixes and wine vinegar) Low to moderate with wine vinegar being in the moderate to high level.

Confections and Frostings (brown, raw, powdered or white sugar derived from sugar beets) Very low level.

Modified Dairy Products (filled milk – when vegetable oils are substituted for animal fat) Not available.

Fish and Shellfish (canned clams, fresh, frozen, canned or dried shrimp, frozen lobster , scallops and dried cod - my lobster experience was mentioned in my first post Low to moderate level.

Fresh Fruit  and Vegetables (potatoes) Very low level.

Gelatins, Puddings and Fillings (fruit fillings, flavored and unflavored gelatin, pectin) Very low level.

Grain Products and Pastas (cornstarch, modified food starch, spinach pasta, gravies, hominy, breadings, batters and noodle/rice mixes) Very low to moderate.

Jams and Jellies (because of the pectin) Very low.

Nuts and Nut Products (shredded coconut – although I have found unsulfured coconut) Very low.

Plant Protein Products (canned, bottled or frozen juices including lemon, lime grape and apple; dried fruit; canned, bottled or frozen dietetic fruit or fruit juices; maraschino cherries and glazed fruit) Moderate to very high level.

Processed Vegetables (vegetable juice, canned vegetables including potatoes, pickled vegetables including sauerkraut, dried vegetables, instant mashed potatoes, frozen potatoes and potato salad) Sauerkraut is in the very high level while the other items seem to fall in the low to high levels.

Snack Foods (dried fruit snacks, trail mixes, filled crackers) High to very high levels.

Soups and Soup Mixes (canned seafood soups, dried soup mixes) Low to moderate levels.

Sweet Sauces, Toppings (corn syrup, maple syrup, fruit toppings, and high-fructose corn syrup, pancake syrup) Very low to Moderate levels.

Tea (instant tea, liquid tea concentrates) Not available.

My last post on sulfites will discuss medications that may contain sulfites.  I will also provide links to some of the various sites I used when obtaining this information so that you may view them yourself in their entirety.

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4 responses to “Catch-Up Mondays: Sulfites and Food – revisited

  1. Thanks for the information on sulfites, Kathy. Repeating never hurts, especially for anyone with brain fog or just aging folks like me! Jennie

  2. I really appreciate this is broken down in such an easy-to-understand way. Thank you!

  3. Kathryn, this is excellent info…thank you very much! I have been wondering about wine for awhile now…

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