Did you know that sulfates are found in just about every personal hygiene product on the market today (unless stated otherwise)? Sulfates, or ammonium laurel sulfate, which is the most common form, is used as a foaming agent in everything from shampoo and conditioner, bar and hand soap, toothpaste, and laundry detergent. They even sneak up on us in supplements and multi-vitamin tablets, usually in the form of zinc sulfate.
Sulfites on the other hand, are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. “Sulfites are inorganic salts that have antioxidant and preservative properties. Many compounds capable of producing sulfite, called sulfiting agents, have been used as food additives since antiquity to help prevent enzymatic and nonenzymatic browning; control growth of microorganisms; act as bleaching agents, antioxidants, or reducing agents; and carry out various other technical functions.”
Look for labels on products that state they are "sulfate free." Most health food stores will carry such products. As far as food products that have sulfates, if you are sensitive to sulfas, madeleinep.hubpages.com provides a list of considerations that people should...
The FDA requires that any alcoholic beverage that contains more than 10 ppm of sulf- has to put it on their labels. Sulf- is a naturally occurring outcome of the fermentation process, but sometimes companies are able to keep these sulf- ingredients under 10 ppm. Check the label! ( *** Mike's Hard Lemonade falls well below the required 10 ppm. This is the only malt beverage/ "wine cooler" type drink that I have been able to find that has a sulfate ratio low enough for me to not have a reaction )
Check out this website for many different sulfite free wines, theorganicwinecompany.com
The following wines are deliciously free of sulfa, so people can enjoy their glass of red and white with dinner!
Sulfur free organic wine from South Africa
Natural Red NV, California
Photo Credit: mustardseedmarket.com