AskDefine | Define sulfite

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative forms


  1. Any salt of sulfurous acid.
salt of sulfurous acid

Extensive Definition

Sulfites (also sulphites) are compounds that contain the sulfite ion SO32−.

Commercial use in wine

Sulfites occur naturally in almost all wines. They are also added to wine as preservatives to prevent spoilage and oxidation.
In the US, wine bottled after mid-1987 must have a label stating that they contain sulfites if they contain more than 10 parts per million.
In the EU an equivalent regulation came into force in November 2005. Organic wines are not necessarily sulfite-free.
Some humans are allergic to sulfites. It is an undeclared allergen that may cause breathing difficulty within minutes after eating a food containing sulfites. Asthmatics and people with allergies to aspirin (also known as salicylate sensitivity) are at an elevated risk for reaction to sulfites. The reaction can be fatal and requires immediate treatment at an emergency room, and can include sneezing, swelling of the throat, and hives. Those who are allergic to sulfites are urged to avoid products that could contain them.
see also Anaphylaxis

See also

sulfite in Bulgarian: Сулфит
sulfite in Danish: Sulfit
sulfite in German: Sulfite
sulfite in Spanish: Sulfito
sulfite in French: Sulfite
sulfite in Italian: Solfito
sulfite in Dutch: Sulfiet
sulfite in Portuguese: Sulfito
sulfite in Russian: Сульфиты
sulfite in Serbian: Сулфит
sulfite in Finnish: Sulfiitti
sulfite in Swedish: Sulfit
sulfite in Chinese: 亚硫酸盐
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