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E228 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 as a disinfectant.

The common name for E228 is potassium hydrogen sulphite.

E228 is a potassium salt of sulphurous acid. Once it reacts with oxygen, it forms potassium sulphate, which may be be excreted in urine. 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.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E228:

  • beer
  • fruit juice
  • fruit jellies
  • canned fruits
  • canned vegetables
  • pickles

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