You probably don’t know it, but all our granolas, snacks and bulk ingredients are sulfite-free! In this article, we will explain why we chose sulfite-free products and recipes.
What are sulphites?
The sulphites (also written sulfites) are salts of sulfur dioxide with antioxidants and antiseptic properties. They are thus used in the food industry as preservatives. What is less known is that they are also naturally present in certain foods and in the body.
In the end, we can find them a little everywhere in our daily diet at different dosages. In large quantities in dried fruits, wine, cider, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer, bottled lemon or lime juice, dried fruit, shellfish, processed food, vinegar, pickles, mustard, cold cuts…
What is the regulation for the display?
In Canada, sulphites must be displayed on the packaging. Either in the list of ingredients or with a statement “Contains Sulfites”, if they are added directly to a food as food additives or if their quantity exceeds 10 ppm (10 parts per million in the finished product). For some time, the name necessarily contains the term “sulphites” to avoid any confusion.
In Europe too, the declaration of the presence of sulphites in food is obligatory when their concentration reaches 10 mg / kg or 10 mg / L. The various types of sulphites will then be designated under these codes: E 220 (sulfur dioxide), E 221 (sodium sulphite), E 223 (sodium bisulphite), E 224 (sodium metabisulphite), E 225 (potassium sulphite), E 226 (calcium sulphite), E 227 (calcium bisulphite), E 228 (potassium hydrogen sulphite).
One can nevertheless ask the question of unpackaged products likely to contain some (shrimps for example).
Why recipes without sulfites?
At La Fourmi Bionique, we have strict specifications when we develop recipes. Since our beginnings, we want to choose the most natural and healthy ingredients for our recipes, so without sulfites. For most people, consumption of sulfites is safe. However, some people experience sensitivity or intolerance. They may have a reaction with the same symptoms as an allergy (see Food Allergy Canada). Side effects can be more or less serious (see the NCBI article): migraines, itching / hives, hemorrhoids, sneezing, abdominal pain, asthma attacks … until anaphylactic shock. If you are intolerant to aspirin, you are likely to make sometimes violent reactions to sulphites. It also affects more people with asthma. It is therefore vital in these cases to avoid them. Unfortunately, sulfite problems are less fashionable and less exposed than can be gluten and few consumers are really aware of them.
Should I avoid them?
If you are very sulfites intolerant, avoiding them can be perhaps a question of life or death. It will be useful to find out by reading the lists of ingredients and asking questions, especially in restaurants that must be able to inform you about their presence. More info on the Health Canada website.
In general, we think it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Indeed, depending on your consumption mode, it is possible to exceed the daily dose recommended by WHO (0.7 mg / kg of body weight per day). For this, prefer organic foods without sulphites, as well as organic or biodynamic wines that contain fewer sulfites than conventional wines. For example, organic regulation of wine in Europe, Canada and the USA limits the addition of sulfites. Organic wines can contain 30% to 50% less. Also avoid low-end ready-made food and processed food.