by Simone Austin
If you suffer with headaches or sneezing after drinking wine, eating dried fruit or processed meats, it's possible you may be allergic to some preservatives.
Sulphur dioxide is very often used as a preservative and some people can be allergic to this. Check the ingredient list as it will list sulphur dioxide if in the product. Some beers, dried fruit, some canned fruit, jams and jellies may also use sulphur dioxide as a preservative. The sulphur can help prevent the discolouration of the fruit.
Sulphur dioxide is often also used in processed meats and sausage meat as a preservative. There are strict guidelines around what foods can and can’t add sulphur dioxide as a preservative to them. This is controlled by the Food Standards Code. Further information on what foods can and can’t contain sulphur dioxide can be found at www.foodstandards.gov.au .
Some of the symptoms of sulphur allergies include from mild to extreme symptoms. Some people will have difficulty breathing, skin hives or rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, asthma and anaphylaxis. Other people can consume sulphur dioxide containing products with no problems. This article is referring to sulphur dioxide as a preservative and not sulphur in general. Sulphur is part of many protein foods and these are important to us. Some medications also contain sulphur and people can be allergic to sulphur dioxide but not necessarily to these medications. It is worth being aware of what the symptoms are just in case you are one of the few who need to take care.
Organic wines tend not to use any preservatives so look out for these or maybe even swap your wine for a non alcoholic beverage!
Simone Austin currently divides her time between her role as the dietitian for Swisse Vitamins, the Hawthorn Football Club, Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, Melbourne Heart Football Club and private practice and aged care consultations. Previous to this, Simone spent six years as the dietitian for the Australian Men’s Cricket Team, as well as roles in community health and other state-wide football teams.