Last updated on 17 May 2004

Survey of sulphur dioxide in soft drinks

FSIS 54/04

Summary

  • A survey of sulphur dioxide and sulphites (E220-E228) in soft drinks has been conducted to ensure manufacturers are complying with legislation.
  • The samples consisted of concentrates based on fruit juice (squashes), lemon and lime juice, and concentrates based on fruit juice containing not less than 2.5 per cent barley (barley waters). The levels of sulphur dioxide in all the tested samples were within the statutory limits. This indicates that all the manufacturers of soft drinks included in this survey are complying with this particular aspect of food additives legislation.
  • A further survey of sulphur dioxide in sausages and burgers is currently being carried out by the Agency. The results of this survey are due to be published later this year.
  • As sulphites are chemically unstable in foods and are often lost as sulphur dioxide gas, further investigation into the fate and stability of sulphites in foods is due to be carried out by the Agency. The findings of that research will be used with the results of this survey to further refine intake estimates for sulphites, and these will be used to inform future EU discussions on maximum permitted levels of sulphites in foods.

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