E220

Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time Food Additives, Nutrients, and Supplements A to Z

E220 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU) and used as an antifungal preservative in food products.

The common name for E220 is sulphur dioxide.

E220 is ineffective at a neutral pH but works best in acidic conditions. It acts as an oxidising agent, which limits its use in some food products. The oxidising action tends to reduce the Vitamin C content of the products containing it.

E220 is a common substance which also has bleaching effects that are exploited in order to prevent discolouration of products such as flour. It occurs naturally from the combustion of sulphur, hydrogen sulphide or gypsum, and is sometimes considered a pollutant.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E220:

  • sausages
  • burgers
  • dried fruit
  • vegetables
  • soft drinks

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