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of healthy fresh fruit anywhere, any time

Why Sulphur Free?

Here at Tropical Harvest QLD, we are big on the benefits of sulphur free dried fruit. Slowly but surely, the message about the dangers of high sulphur content in food is being spread.

 

The Dangers of Sulphites

Sulphur has been linked to asthma attacks; research shows that when Australian children go back to school the asthma attack rates increase five times, this is largely due to the food packed into lunchboxes often contains large doses of sulphite preservatives.

Sulphites are found in many of the products that are perceived as healthy. They are in almost all processed fruit and muesli bars, luncheon meats, juices, cordials and dried fruit.   

Used as a preservative, sulphites prevent the growth of bacteria and also inhibit enzymes which cause food to discolour and have bleaching and antioxidant actions.  Tropical Harvest 's process ensures that there is no sulphur in our dried fruit.

Sulphites include sodium and potassium sulphite, sulphur dioxide, sodium and potassium bisulphite, and the metabisulphites.

220      Sulphur dioxide

221      Sodium sulphite

222      Sodium bisulphite

223      Sodium metabisulphite

224      Potassium metabisulphite

225      Potassium sulphite

228      Potassium bisulphate

How do Sulphites affect our health?

  • associated with the full range of food intolerance symptoms including headaches, skin rashes, irritable bowel symptoms, gastric upsets, nausea and diarrhoea.
  • behaviour disturbances
The effects of consumption are cumulative and after often delay, making it difficult to identify the cause, and the connection is rarely made. The reactions can be subtle and it may not be until you remove the additive from the diet that you will notice what the problem was.  For example food additives such as bright colouring will often have an almost immediate impact on behaviour, but preservatives can have a slower, cumulative effect.  When they are removed from the diet children are generally much calmer and have a greater ability to concentrate and learn.
In 1999 the conservative World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated of the number of sulphite-sensitive asthmatic children to be as high as 20-30%. WHO recommends the use of sulphites in foods be reduced and phased out due to their effect on child asthmatics.
Doctors rarely advise asthmatics about the dangers of sulphites and instead prescribe medication. A worldwide study conducted of children aged 13-14 year show Australia has the 3rd highest percentage of Asthmatics for this age group in the world. One in four children in Australia suffers from chronic asthma. Asthma attacks can be fatal.

 

What is an acceptable intake?

The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of sulphite preservative as recommended by WHO is 0.7mg per kg of bodyweight. This means for an average 6 year old weighing 21 kg the ADI would be 15mg. One dried apricot, dried by traditional methods, exceeds this amount as it contains 16mg of sulphite.  For a 2 year old, the limit would be half a dried apricot.

Children have higher exposures per kilogram of body weight and therefore greater exposures as a percentage of the ADI. This is primarily due to their higher consumption of sulphite food per body weight compared to adults.

Which foods contain sulphites?

Dried fruit is probably the single biggest source of sulphur dioxide your children will ever encounter. An average 200 gm packet of dried fruit would contain 577 mg of sulphur dioxide, or 144 mg per 50g serve.

See below for comparison with other possible sulphite sources for children (sulphite levels are very variable):

  • sausages
    • 8 mg in half a thin sausage
  • drinks
    • 5 mg in one glass of cordial
  • dried fruit
    • 16 mg in one dried apricot (far higher per serve than any other food consumed by children)

 

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