Sodium metabisulfite is a chemical preservative added to prevent foods from browning and molding. It is often used in preserving fresh and dried fruits, and in home brewing wines and ales. Unfortunately, for those people who are sensitive to sulfites, it can cause uncomfortable hypersensitivity reactions that may include anything from wheezing to eczema to IBS to migraines and more.
While the additive may or may not be identified, based on the amount used to preserve the food, sulfites do occur naturally in wines and meads. Here is a list of sulfite-containing foods that sulfite-sensitive people may want to avoid.
Recently, I have been working with the mother of an 18-month old boy to help bring the child some relief inside his own body. Chronic runny nose that would turn into sinus and ear infections, eczema, rash, constipation, difficulty sleeping through the night, and more were the kinds of symptoms he had been exhibiting. Upon receiving the results of his MRT food sensitivity test, we learned that one of his many sensitivities was to sodium metabisulfite.
In this mom’s quest to find sodium metabisulfite-free dried fruits, she used the online form at Whole Foods Market to ask the question:
Hello, I am looking for dried cranberries, dried pineapple, or dried bananas that are free of sodium metabisulfite. Do your 365 dried fruits contain sodium metabisulfite for color preservation? My local store could not answer the question. From what I understand, it is not something that is required to be listed on the package in small amounts. However, it causes my son to wheeze so I need to avoid it with certainty. Can you help? Thanks, Camille W.
Whole Foods came back quickly with this response:
Thanks for reaching out to us. Sodium metabisulphite is on our list of unacceptable ingredients for food, so none of our dried fruits contain it. I doubt that this an issue for your son, but just as an FYI we do allow it in some wines and meads.
Thanks for reaching out to us. I hope that information is helpful, please let me know if there is anything else I can do!
If you have any further questions please use our on-line response form.
Global Customer Information Specialist | Whole Foods Market | 550 Bowie Street | Austin, Texas 78703
It’s good to know that Whole Foods feels the same way about sodium metabisulfite as I do, and that I can trust the 365 store brand of dried fruits to be sulfite-free.