According to the FDA, 1 out of every 100 people has a sensitivity to sulfites, a sulfur based preservative that occurs naturally or may be added to food. A sensitivity can develop at anytime, and reactions can be mild or life threatening. Symptoms of a sulfite sensitivity can include difficulty breathing, chest tightness, nausea, hives or even anaphylactic shock.
In 1986, the FDA banned the use of sulfites on fruits and veggies that would be eaten raw, but they are still found in many processed foods. Some shrimp and lobster contain sulfites to prevent black spots from forming, and they are also used to condition dough, and maintain the stability and potency of certain medications. Some other common foods that contain sulfites are baked goods, soup mixes, jams, molasses, grape juice, pickled foods, bottled lemon and lime juice, maraschino cherries, and dried fruit.
Look at the ingredients and you may see:
Most (except for a few) wines contain sulfites. Yeast naturally produces sulfites during fermentation and most winemakers add sulfites to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. All wines made in the US require a sulfite warning label, but there are no such rules for wines made in other countries.
Fit's Tip: If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor to find out more information about sulfite sensitivity.