Pay attention folks – all dried fruit is not created equal. In fact, you need to make sure you’re buying the unsulfured variety.
Used as a preservative, sulfur dioxide prevents dried fruit from spoiling and retains the fruit’s ‘appetising’ colour. It’s created by burning coal or oil and is used not only as a food preservative but also as a disinfectant or bleaching agent in cleaning products.
If that’s not enough to put you off your apricots, then you should also know that in Australia, dried fruit can contain extremely high amounts of sulfur – 3,000 parts per million (ppm) compared to 2,000 ppm in the UK.
Eating dried fruit with sulfur dioxide has been shown to destroy Vitamin B1 and folic acid plus increase the risk of asthma in some people. It’s also been associated with food intolerance symptoms including headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and skin rashes.
So, how can you avoid sulfur dioxide?
- Read the label! Don’t buy anything that says sulphur dioxide, sulfur dioxide or containing preservative 220, 221, 222, 223, 224 or 225.
- Choose organic brands like Honest to Goodness and Organic Road as these products won’t use any preservatives.
- You can try drying your own fruit with a dehydrator.