E226 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU) and used as an antimicrobial synthetic preservative in food products and bleaching agent in sugar production. This chemical has also been used as a firming agent and as a disinfectant.
The common name of E226 is calcium sulphite.
E226 is a calcium salt of sulphurous acid. When the chemical reacts with oxygen it goes on to form calcium sulphate. 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. This preservative is banned in Australia.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E226:
- canned fruits
- fruit pickles
- fruit juice