E227 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU) and used as an antimicrobial synthetic preservative in food products. It can also be used as a firming agent and disinfectant.
The common name of E227 is calcium hydrogen sulphite.
E227 is a calcium salt of sulphurous acid. It works as a firming agent due to the presence of calcium (especially in canned vegetables). The liver reduces E227 to a sulphate that can be excreted as a component of urine. As with other sulphurous acid salts, E227 destroys the vitamin B1 content of the food, which is important for a healthy heart and nerves, as well as producing energy for the body.
Added sulphites (E221 – E228) should be avoided if an individual is intolerant to natural sulphites.
E227 has been known to induce asthma attacks and has been banned in Australia.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E227:
- canned fruit
- canned vegetables
- fruit juice
- fruit jellies