E224 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 E224 is potassium metabisulphite. Other names include: pyrosulfurous acid, dipotassium salt and potassium pyrosulfite.
E224 is a potassium salt of sulphurous acid. As with other sulphurous acid salts, the chemical’s oxidising effect has the disadvantage of reducing the vitamin content of the food containing it.
Added sulphites (E221 – E228) should be avoided if an individual is intolerant to natural sulphites. Such chemicals have been known to irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system - but are also believed by some to alleviate hangover symptoms.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E224:
- frozen vegetables
- frozen shellfish
- fruit juice