The Sneaky Ingredient In Wine You Need to Know About
If you're near a bottle of wine, grab it. Take a closer look at the label. See anything interesting on there regarding the ingredients? Typically, bottles of wine will have a sentence in small print that lets the consumer know that the wine contains sulfites, which is a sneaky ingredient in wine that you may not know about.
What are sulfites?
Sulfite is a preservative used in winemaking. The sulfites (sulfur dioxide) help to prevent the wine's oxidation and keep it tasting good—and not like vinegar. It helps the wine to stay on a rack for longer periods of time. If the wine (or any food or beverage) contains over 10 parts per million (1o ppm), winemakers are required to put it on their labels.
Are sulfites harmful?
You don't have to worry too much about sulfites. Although some think that the sulfites in wine will actually give them wine headaches, there isn't enough scientific evidence to prove that claim to be true. Only one study was done to prove that consuming a high amount of sulfites can increase headaches.
Yet according to Healthline, there are a lot of other factors at play when it comes to headaches from drinking wine—like other compounds in the wine, or even just drinking alcohol in general.
The Food and Drug Administration says that only 1% of the population will have sulfite sensitivities, and sulfite allergies can happen later on in life, particularly those who suffer from severe asthma.
How to reduce your sulfite consumption
Although most wine will have sulfites for preserving, the amount in each bottle is incredibly small. However, you can actually take the sulfites out of the wine by using filters or wine purifiers, like Üllo. These types of decanters can help strain out the preservative that could potentially be giving you headaches, while still preserving the wine.
Sulfites are also found in other types of preserved such as dried fruits, pickles, jams, juices, and even soft drinks. Be sure to check the labels of any highly preserved foods. Look for names such as sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite, and potassium metabisulfite on the ingredient list.
Ultimately, consuming few sulfites will not hurt you. But if you are experiencing any of the applicable symptoms of a sulfite allergy (hives, stomach pain, diarrhea, swelling, and more), talk to your doctor.
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