Sulphites, widely used in oenology as preservatives, are the subject of ongoing debate about their safety. Although present in many foods and beverages, their role in wine raises specific questions.

Sulphites: essential preservatives or potential allergens?

Sulphites in wine are essential antioxidants and antiseptics for its preservation. However, their recent classification as allergens has raised concerns, especially among people with sensitivities or allergies. We take a look at the health effects of sulphites and why they are considered potentially dangerous.

Why are sulphites problematic for some consumers?

A proportion of the population may experience allergic reactions to sulphites, ranging from minor symptoms to potentially life-threatening reactions. These reactions include hot flushes, breathing difficulties and dizziness. Understanding these risks is crucial for vulnerable people.

Methaemoglobin: a side effect of sulphites in wine

Sulphites in wine can cause methaemoglobin, a disorder affecting the blood. This condition is particularly dangerous for people with neurological or cardiac disorders, pregnant women, and people suffering from kidney or liver disease.

Sulphite allergy: symptoms and precautions

Sulphite allergy manifests itself through a range of symptoms including breathing difficulties and skin reactions. Allergy sufferers should avoid foods and drinks containing sulphites, including certain wines, vinegars and cold meats.

Is it possible to neutralise sulphites?

For sensitive people, there is no treatment to neutralise sulphites. Caution is therefore advised, and it is advisable to avoid wines and other foods rich in sulphites.

Sulphites in wine: concentration levels and regulations

US regulations recommend a limit of 10 ppb of sulphites in wine. This section explores the current concentration of sulphites in most wines and the regulations in place to inform consumers.