E223 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU) and used as an antimicrobial, antioxidant synthetic food preservative and bleaching agent in food products.
The common name of E223 is sodium metabisulphite. It is also known as pyrosulphurous acid or disodium salt. As with other sulphurous acid salts, the chemical’s oxidising effect has the disadvantage of reducing the vitamin content of the food containing it.
E223 is a sodium salt of sulphurous acid. Added sulphites (E221 – E228) should be avoided if an individual is intolerant to natural sulphites. This chemical is difficult to metabolise in those with impaired function of the kidneys and is associated with asthma attacks in asthmatics.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E223:
- vegetables (especially frozen)
- fruit juice
- frozen shellfish
- dried fruits