Application of food additive sodium metabisulfite


Application of food additive sodium metabisulfite


Sodium metabisulfite is a widely used food additive. In addition to bleaching, it also has the following effects:

1) Anti-browning effect, enzymatic browning often occurs in fruit and potato foods, sodium metabisulfite is a reducing agent, which has a strong inhibitory effect on the activity of polyphenol oxidase, 0.0001% of sulfur dioxide can Reduces the enzyme activity by 20%, 0.001% of sulfur dioxide can completely inhibit the enzyme activity, can prevent enzymatic browning; in addition, it can consume oxygen in food tissue and act as deoxidation; in addition, the addition of sulfurous acid can be combined with glucose. The reaction prevents the glucose in the food from reacting with the amino acid in a sugar ammonia reaction, thereby having an effect of preventing browning.

2) Preservative effect, sulfurous acid can act as an acidic preservative, and undissociated sulfurous acid is believed to inhibit yeast, mold, and bacteria. It has been reported that the undissociated sulfurous acid inhibits Escherichia coli by a factor of 1000. It is 100-500 times stronger than beer yeast and 100 times stronger than mold. When sulfur dioxide is acidic, the microorganism has the strongest effect.

3) Antioxidant effect. Sulfuric acid has a significant effect on oxidation. Since sulfurous acid is a strong reducing agent, it can consume oxygen in fruits and vegetables and inhibit the activity of oxidase, and is effective for preventing oxidative damage of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables.

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The mechanism by which sodium metabisulfite works:

Bleaching agents can be divided into two classes according to their mode of action, oxidized bleaching agents and reducing bleaching agents. Sodium metabisulfite is a reduced bleaching agent.


Sodium metabisulfite utilizes the pigment to be faded by reduction to achieve bleaching purposes. Most organic matter is produced by the chromophore contained in its molecule. The chromophores all contain unsaturated bonds, and the release of the hydrogen atom by the reducing bleaching agent causes the unsaturated bond contained in the chromophore to become a single bond, and the organic substance loses its color. The browning of some foods is caused by the presence of ferric ions. The addition of reducing bleach can turn ferric ions into ferrous ions and prevent food browning.

Sodium metabisulfite is faded by a sulfite-based addition reaction to achieve bleaching purposes. The addition reaction of anthocyanins and saccharides can be bleached to discolor. The reaction is reversible, and the sulfite can be removed by heating or acidification to regenerate the anthocyanins and restore the original red color.

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