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Preservatives (INS 220)

Also Known As : E 220, Sulfurous anhydride, Sulfurous oxide, sulphur dioxide


Taste Profile

It possesses a strong and pungent odour with an acidic taste.

Usage Tips

  1. Preservative (INS 220) as a preservative is commonly added in foods and beverages like dried fruits, pickled vegetables, sausages, fruit and vegetable juices, cider vinegar and wine.

Common names and forms

  1. Antioxidant: Sulphur Dioxide
  2. Class II Preservative (220)
  3. Permitted Preservative (INS 220)
  4. Preservative Sulphur Dioxide(E220)


Preservative (INS 220) popularly known as Sulphur dioxide is a food additive that is used as a food and wine preservative. It's main role is to prevent enzymatic and bacterial spoilage of food products. The use of sulphur dioxide goes back to the Roman times, where they would use it to help preserve wine. Preservative (INS 220) is a colourless gas that is formed when sulphur is burned. It is thus most effective in acidic foods. It is ineffective in foods with neutral pH. Preservative (INS 220) also has bleaching effects,hence it is used in some foods like flour to prevent discolouration. Since, it is considered as an allergen, it has been made mandatory by the government to indicate its addition, on the label of a product (under Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers), where the level exceeds 10mg/kg or 10mg/L (expressed as SO2).


Preservative (INS 220) may induce allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to it like asthmatic attacks, headache and nausea.(1) It is difficult to metabolise by those with impaired kidney function.(2) It's presence in foods greatly reduces vitamin B1 uptake, which can lead to many health problems, such as chronic headache and temporary memory loss.(3)

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"Information here is provided for discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or product or ingredient review/rating. The information may not apply to you and before you use or take any action, you should contact the manufacturer, seller, medical, dietary, fitness or other professional. If you utilize any information provided here, you do so at your own risk and you waive any right against Culinary Communications Private Limited, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees or representatives.”